Differential skeletal responses of hindlimb unloaded rats on a vitamin D-deficient diet to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and its analog, seocalcitol (EB1089) Academic Article uri icon


  • Conditions of disuse in bed rest patients, as well as microgravity experienced by astronauts are accompanied by reduced mechanical loading, reduced calcium absorption, and lower serum levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 (1,25-D), the active metabolite of vitamin D, all contributing to bone loss. To determine whether 1,25-D or a less calcemic analog, Seocalcitol or EB1089 (1 alpha,25-dihydroxy-22,24-diene-24,26,27-trihomovitamin D3) can alleviate bone loss in a rat hindlimb unloading model of disuse osteopenia, mature male rats originally on a vitamin D replete diet containing 1.01% calcium were transferred to a vitamin D-deficient diet containing 0.48% calcium and then tail suspended and treated for 28 days with vehicle, 0.05 microg/kg 1,25-D, or 0.05 microg/kg EB1089. The vitamin D-deficient diet caused a substantial decrease in bone mineral density (-8%), which may be compounded by hindlimb unloading (-10%). Exogenous 1,25-D not only prevented the bone loss but also increased the bone mineral density to greater than the baseline level (+7%). EB1089 was less effective in preventing bone loss. Analysis of site and cell-specific effects of 1,25-D and EB1089 revealed that 1,25-D was more active than EB1089 in the intestine, the site of calcium absorption, and in inducing osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption whereas EB1089 was more effective in inducing osteoblast differentiation. These studies suggest that elevating circulating 1,25-D levels presumably increasing calcium absorption can counteract bone loss induced by disuse or microgravity with its associated reductions in circulating 1,25-D and decreased calcium absorption.

author list (cited authors)

  • Narayanan, R., Allen, M. R., Gaddy, D., Bloomfield, S. A., Smith, C. L., & Weigel, N. L.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • July 2004

published in