New analogs of vitamin D3

Eduardo Slatopolsky, Adriana Dusso, Alex Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Calcitriol, the most active metabolite of vitamin D, controls parathyroid gland growth and suppresses the synthesis and secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH). However, because of its potent effects on intestinal calcium absorption and bone mobilization, calcitriol treatment can induce hypercalcemia, often precluding its use at therapeutic doses. Hyperphosphatemia is also a persistent problem among patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis and can be aggravated by therapeutic doses of calcitriol. Several pharmaceutical companies were able to modify the side- chain of the 1,25(OH)2D3, allowing some of these new analogs to retain the action on the parathyroid glands while decreasing their hypercalcemic and hyperphosphatemic effects. The structure-activity relationship for ligand- mediated transcriptional regulation has been studied in detail. In some analogs the serum binding protein (DBP) plays a key role in determining the pharmacokinetics of the vitamin D compound. The affinity to DBP for 22- oxacalcitriol (OCT), an analog of calcitriol for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism, is approximately 300-400 times lower than that of calcitriol and the analog is rapidly cleared from the circulation. The mechanisms for the selectivity of 19-nor-1,25(OH)2D2 (paricalcitol) (Zemplar®) another analog of calcitriol, is clearly different from OCT. Although the mechanisms of action is not completely known, it does appear that paricalcitol down-regulates the VDR in the intestine. It is likely that the unique biological profiles of vitamin D analogs in vivo are due to multiple mechanisms. Understanding the molecular basis of the analog selectivity will not only provide an explanation for their unique actions but allow intelligent design of more effective analogs in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S46-S51
JournalKidney International, Supplement
Issue number73
StatePublished - 1999


  • Calcitriol
  • Hypercalcimia
  • Hyperphosphatemia
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Paricalcitol


Dive into the research topics of 'New analogs of vitamin D3'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this