The in vivo effects of 24,25(OH)2D3 on cellular structure and organization, matrix metachromasia and mineralization were studied in epiphyseal growth plate of normal neonatal mice. A relatively low dose of the metabolite, 40 ng/kg body weight, significantly increased the overall size of humeral growth plate and the zone of cellular proliferation. By and large, the tissue’s response to the metabolite did not change with the increase in dose administered except for a decrease in the number of chondroblasts. 24,25(OH)2D3 led to significant increases in the metachromatic reaction of the cartilaginous matrix, but appeared to depress the mineralization process. Qualitative structural changes were noted in chondroblasts and hypertrophic chondrocytes. 24,25(OH)2D3 affected the osteo-blastic and osteocytic populations of cells in the metaphysis and diaphysis of the humerus. High doses of 24,25(OH)2D3 brought about distinct atrophic changes in the above cells. These findings indicate that excessive doses of 24,25 (OH)2D3 in an intact animal may lead to retardative effects upon bone growth.

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