1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is converted to calcitroic acid before being excreted in the bile. Biosynthesis of calcitroic acid has been demonstrated in two target cells of vitamin D, in the kidney and the osteoblastic cell line UMR-106. Calcitroic acid was identified by combinations of h.p.l.c., u.v. spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Evidence is presented that calcitroate is derived from the 24-oxidation pathway, possibly through the intermediate 24,25,26,27-tetranor-1,23-dihydroxyvitamin D3. The 24-oxidation pathway to calcitroic acid in bone cells is stimulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. The pathway in both bone cells and perfused kidney operates at physiological concentrations of substrate and appears to be capable of rapid clearance of the hormone.

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