1. One-day-old chicks were depleted of vitamin D. At 3 weeks their right tibiae, and those of a control group given vitamin D3, were fractured and pinned. After fracture the controls were kept on vitamin D3. Another group was left vitamin D-deficient. The remaining depleted chicks, divided into four groups, were given vitamin D3, 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [24,25(OH)2D3], 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] or a combination of 24,25(OH)2D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3.
2. The callus obtained after 9 and 14 days was subjected to torsional stress. The callus of chicks given vitamin D continuously showed the greatest resistance, whereas that of vitamin D-deficient chicks showed the smallest resistance. Repletion with either vitamin D3 or its metabolites increased the strength of the callus. Repletion with the combination of 24,25(OH)2D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 produced the most marked results, in that the callus was even stronger than that of chicks replete with vitamin D3.
3. It is concluded that 24,25(OH)2D3 is essential for bone formation in addition to the known active vitamin D metabolite 1,25(OH)2D3, and the possible clinical implications of these findings are discussed.