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The Interaction Between Burn Injury and Vitamin D Metabolism and Consequences for the Patient

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The stress and inflammatory responses to burn injury are associated with bone loss. The stress response entails production of large amounts of endogenous glucocorticoids that decrease osteoblasts on the mineralization surface of bone and decreases differentiation of marrow stromal cells into osteoblasts, thereby decreasing the amount of bone formation. Deficiency of osteoblasts also blocks osteoclastogenesis thus leading to low bone turnover and bone loss. The inflammatory response generates cytokines such as interleukin 1-beta and interleukin-6, which normally increase osteoclastogenic bone resorption via stimulation of osteoblast production of RANK ligand. However, in the absence of osteoblasts as a target we postulate that they attack the parathyroid gland chief cells and up-regulate the calcium-sensing receptor. The consequence of this upregulation is the lowering of the circulating calcium necessary to suppress parathyroid hormone production and the development of hypocalcemia and urinary calcium wasting. It is the parathyroid hormone suppression that causes us to postulate acute deficiency of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and the consequence of this for post-burn metabolism could include derepression of the gene that controls renin production, leading to elevated levels of angiotensin II, which can contribute to insulin resistance, as can vitamin D deficiency itself .Moreover, the skin from burned patients cannot synthesize vitamin D normally. Thus vitamin D supplementation is the only means by which to ensure vitamin D sufficiency for burn victims. The proper requirement for vitamin D in acutely burned patients remains unknown.

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Keywords: Burn Injury; RANK ligand; Vitamin D Metabolism; angiotensin II; cytokines; endogenous glucocorticoids; hypocalcemia; inflammatory; osteoblasts

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Current Clinical Pharmacology publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical pharmacology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. Topics covered include: pharmacokinetics; therapeutic trials; adverse drug reactions; drug interactions; drug metabolism; pharmacoepidemiology; and drug development. The journal is essential reading for all researchers in clinical pharmacology.
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