Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 19–24 | Cite as

Serum vitamin D metabolites in younger and elderly postmenopausal women

  • Claus Christiansen
  • Paul Rødbro
Clinical Investigations


Previous investigations have suggested that a lower-than-normal serum 1,25(OH)2D is found in elderly women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. We examined the fundamental aspects of this theory by investigating serum vitamin D metabolites infour representative samples of Caucasian women. These included 44 early postmenopausal women divided intotwo subgroups: fast bone losers, that is, bone loss>3%/year (n=20), and “physiological” bone loss (n=24); and 28 70-year-old women divided intotwo subgroups: with and without osteoporotic fractures. Serum 1,25(OH)2D concentrations were virtually the same in all groups thus contradicting the previous reports of low 1,25(OH)2D in elderly women. Furthermore, mean 25OHD and 24,25(OH)2D did not differ between the groups. We conclude that 1,25(OH)2D is unlikely to be significant in the development or treatment of a majority of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Key words

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Postmenopausal osteoporosis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    DeLuca HF (1976) Recent advances in our understanding of the vitamin D endocrine system. J Lab Clin Med 87:7–26Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gallagher JC, Riggs BL, Eisman J, Hamstra A, Arnaud SB, DeLuca HF (1979) Intestinal calcium absorption and serum vitamin D metabolites in normal subjects and osteoporotic patients. Effect of age and dietary calcium. J Clin Invest 64:729–736PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Soerensen OH, Andersen RB, Christensen MS, Friis T, Hjort L, Joergensen FS, Lund B, Melsen F, Mosekilde L (1977) Treatment of senile osteoporosis with 1α-hydroxy vitamin D3. Clin Endocrinol (suppl 7):169–175Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lindholm TS, Sevastikoglou JA, Lindgren U (1977) Treatment of patients with senile post-menopausal and corticosteriod-induced osteoporosis with 1α-hydroxyvitamin D3 and calcium: short and long-term effects. Clin Endocrinol (suppl 7):183–189Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lund B, Kjaer I, Friis T, Hjorth L, Reimann I, Andersen RB, Soerensen OH (1975) Treatment of osteoporosis of ageing with 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol. Lancet ii:1168–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gallagher JC, Jerpbak CM, Jee WS, Johnson KA, DeLuca HF, Riggs BL (1982) 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3: short- and long-term effects on bone and calcium metabolism in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci 79:3325–3329PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Orimo H, Shiraki M (1979) Role of calcium regulating hormones in the pathogenesis of senile osteoporosis. Endocrinol Jpn suppl 26:1–6Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lawoyin S, Zerwekh JE, Glass K, Pak CY (1980) Ability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 therapy to augment serum 1,25- and 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in postmenopausal osteoporosis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 50:593–596PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lund B, Sørensen OH, Lund B, Agner E (1982) Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in normal subjects and in patients with postmenopausal osteopenia. Influence of age, renal function and oestrogen therapy. Horm Metab Res 14:271–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Riggs BL, Hamstra A, DeLuca HF (1981) Assessment of 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1 alpha-hydroxylase reserve in postmenopausal osteoporosis by administration of parathyroid extract. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 53:833–835PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sørensen OH, Lumbholtz B, Lund B, Lund B, Hjelmstrand IL, Mosekilde L, Melsen F, Bishop JE, Norman AW (1982) Acute effects of parathyroid hormone on vitamin D metabolism in patients with the bone loss of ageing. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 54:1258–1261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nordin BEC, Peacock M, Crilly RG, Marshall DH (1979) Calcium absorption and plasma 1,25(OH)2D levels in postmenopausal osteoporosis. In: Norman AW, Schaefer K, Herrath DV, Grigoleit H-G, Coburn JW, DeLuca HF, Mawer EB, Suda T (eds) Vitamin D: basic research and its clinical application. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York pp 99–106Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nordin BEC, Peacock M, Crilly RG, Francis RM, Speed R, Barkworth S (1981) Summations of risk factors in osteoporosis. In: DeLuca HM, Frost HM, Jee WSS, Johnston Jr CC, Parfitt AM Osteoporosis: recent advances in pathogenesis and treatment. University Park Press, Baltimore, pp 359–367Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Manolagas SC, Deftos LJ (1981) Comparison of 1,25-, 25-, and 24,25-hydroxylated vitamin D3 binding in fetal rat calvariae and osteogenic sarcoma cells. Calcif Tissue Int 33:655–661PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Christiansen C, Christensen MS, McNair P, Hagen C, Stocklund K-E, Transbøl I (1980) Prevention of early postmenopausal bone loss: controlled 2-year study in 315 normal females. Eur J Clin Invest 10:273–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Christiansen C, Christensen MS, Transbøl I (1981) Bone mass in postmenopausal women after withdrawal of oestrogen/gestagen replacement therapy. Lancet i:459–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jensen GF, Christiansen C, Boesen J, Hegedüs V, Transbøl I (1982) Epidemiology of postmenopausal spinal and long bone fractures. A unifying approach to postmenopausal osteoporosis. Clin Orthop Rel Res 166:75–81Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shepard RM, Horst RL, Hamstra AJ, DeLuca HF (1979) Determination of vitamin D and its metabolites in plasma from normal and anephric man. Biochem J 182:55–69PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Boddy K, King PC, Hume R, Weyers E (1972) The relation of total body potassium to height, weight, and age in normal adults J Clin Pathol 25:512–517PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Christiansen C, Rødbro P, Jensen H (1975) Bone mineral content is the forearm measured by photon absorptiometry. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 35:323–330PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rickers H, Balslev I, Foltved H, Rødbro P (1981) Bone mineral content before and after intestinal bypass operation in obese patients. Acta Med Scand 209-203-207Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Christiansen C, Rødbro P (1977) Long-term reproducibility of bone mineral content measurements. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 37:321–323PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Christiansen C, Rødbro P (1975) Estimation of total body calcium from the bone mineral content of the forearm. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 35:425–431PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mazess RB, Peppler WW, Chesnut CH, Nelp WB, Cohn SH, Zanzi I (1981) Total body bone mineral and lean body mass by dual-photon absorptiometry. II. Comparison with total body calcium by neutron activation analysis. Calcif Tissue Int 33:361–363PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Christiansen C, Christensen MS, Rødbro P, Hagen C, Transbøl I (1981) Effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in itself or combined with hormone treatment in preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis. Eur J Clin Invest 11:305–309PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jensen GF, Christiansen C, Transbøl I (1982) Treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. A controlled therapeutic trial comparing oestrogen/gestagen, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and calcium. Clin Endocrinol 16:515–524Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Aaron JE, Gallagher JC, Nordin BEC (1974) Seasonal variation of histological osteomalacia in femoral-neck fractures. Lancet ii:84–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Loré F, Di Cairano G, Signorino AM, Caniggia A (1981) Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Calcif Tissue Int 33:467–470PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Weisman Y, Salama R, Harell A, Edelstein S (1978) Serum 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentraions in femoral neck fracture. Br Med J 2:1196–1197PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Christiansen C, Rødbro P, Næstoft J, Christensen MS (1981) A possible direct effect of 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol on the parathyroid gland in patients with chronic renal failure. Clin Endocrinol 15:237–242Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Arnaud CD, Gallagher JC, Jerpbak CM, Riggs BL (1981) On the role of parathyroid hormone in the osteoporosis of aging. In: DeLuca HF, Frost HM, Jee WSS, Johnston CC, Parfitt AM (eds) Osteoporosis. Recent advances in pathogenesis and treatment. University Park Press, Baltimore, pp 215–225Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus Christiansen
    • 1
  • Paul Rødbro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical ChemistryGlostrup Hospital, University of CopenhagenGlostrup
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PhysiologyAalborg HospitalAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations