The acute and long-term effects of Ca2+ and Pi on vitamin D metabolism were studied in vitro with isolated renal tubules from vitamin D-deficient and vitamin D-supplemented chicks. Ca2+ depletion, achieved by isolating renal tubules in Ca2+-free buffers, led to suppression of 1 alpha-hydroxylase activity. Re-introduction of Ca2+ during incubation caused an acute stimulation of this enzyme. This stimulatory effect of Ca2+ was prevented by prior treatment of Ca2+-depleted renal tubules for 6 h with 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol. Ca2+ and Pi produced marked acute affects on 1 alpha-hydroxylase activity, which persisted for the whole 8 h experimental period, in Ca2+-depleted renal tubules from vitamin D-deficient chicks. The effects of either ion were influenced by the concentration of the other. However, the effects of these ions could not be reproduced in either Ca2+-depleted renal tubules from vitamin D-supplemented chicks or in renal tubules from vitamin D-deficient chicks, isolated in Ca2+-containing buffers. Isolation of renal tubules from vitamin D-supplemented chicks in Ca2+-containing buffers and subsequent incubation for 8 h in the presence of increased [Ca2+] led to a modest but statistically significant suppression of 1 alpha-hydroxylase and stimulation of 24-hydroxylase activity. It is concluded that the acute effects of Ca2+ and Pi on 1 alpha-hydroxylase activity of Ca2+-depleted renal tubules from vitamin D-deficient chicks are not regulatory but the results of the experimental conditions. In contrast the long-term effects of Ca2+ on both hydroxylases of renal tubules from vitamin D-supplemented chicks may be of physiological significance.

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