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Ontogenesis of the vitamin D receptor in rat heart.

Fraga C., Blanco M., Vigo E., Segura C., Garcia-Caballero T., Perez-Fernandez R.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) through its receptor (vitamin D receptor; VDR) has important physiological effects such as calcium transport and cell growth and differentiation. Although the VDR is present in a variety of cell lines as well as in numerous tissues, including rat and human heart, no data are available about the presence of VDR in heart at different steps of rat life. In this study we evaluated the VDR expression using RT-PCR and immunohistochemical techniques in fetal (17, 18 and 20 gestational days), neonatal (4 and 8 days) and adult rat heart. Immunohistochemical techniques showed the VDR protein localisation in the nuclei of cardiac muscle fibres. Also, we demonstrated that VDR mRNA expression is changing over these different periods of development, showing significant differences in 20 days versus 18 days of fetal age. These changes in VDR expression may be related to other parameters associated with the development of the cardiac muscle and/or intracellular cardiac cell calcium homeostasis.

Histochem. Cell Biol. 117:547-550(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]