A multiple assay capable of reliably determining vitamins D2 and D3 (ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol), 25(OH)D2 (25-hydroxyvitamin D2) and 25(OH)D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D3), 24,25(OH)2D (24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), 25,26(OH)2D (25,26-dihydroxyvitamin D) and 1,25(OH)2D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) in a single 3–5ml sample of human plasma was developed. The procedure involves methanol/methylene chloride extraction of plasma lipids followed by separation of the metabolites and purification from interfering contaminants by batch elution chromatography on Sephadex LH-20 and Lipidex 5000 and by h.p.l.c. (high-pressure liquid chromatography). Vitamins D2 and D3 and 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 are quantified by h.p.l.c. by using u.v. detection, comparing their peak heights with those of standards. 24,25(OH)2D and 25,26(OH)2D are measured by competitive protein-binding assay with diluted plasma from vitamin D-deficient rats. 1,25(OH)2D is measured by competitive protein-binding assay with diluted cytosol from vitamin D-deficient chick intestine. Values in normal human plasma samples taken in February are: vitamin D 3.5±2.5ng/ml; 25(OH)D 31.6±9.3ng/ml; 24,25(OH)2D 3.5±1.4ng/ml; 25,26(OH)2D 0.7±0.5ng/ml; 1,25(OH)2D 31±9pg/ml (means±s.d.). Values in two normal human plasma samples taken in February after 1 week of high sun exposure are: vitamin D 27.1±7.9ng/ml; 25(OH)D 56.8±4.2ng/ml; 24,25(OH)2D 4.3±1.6ng/ml; 25,26(OH)2D 0.5±0.2ng/ml. Values in anephric-human plasma are: vitamin D 2.7±0.8ng/ml; 25(OH)D 36.4±16.5ng/ml; 24,25(OH)2D 1.9±1.3ng/ml; 25,26(OH)2D 0.6±0.3ng/ml; 1,25(OH)2D was undetectable.

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