1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] and 24,25-(OH)2D3 differentially affect the specific activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) and phospholipase-A2 (PLA2) of plasma membranes and extracellular matrix vesicles produced by costochondral reserve zone and growth zone cartilage chondrocytes in culture. In the present study, growth zone and cartilage and reserve zone matrix vesicles and plasma membranes were isolated from confluent chondrocyte cultures and incubated with hormone for 3 and 24 h in vitro. Addition of 1,25-(OH)2D3 to GC matrix vesicles and plasma membranes resulted in dose-dependent increases in ALPase and PLA2 specific activities in both membrane fractions. Addition of 24,25- (OH)2D3 to RC membrane fractions stimulated matrix vesicle ALPase at 10-7 and 10-8 M and plasma membrane ALPase at 10-8 M only. However, 24,25-(OH)2D3 inhibited matrix vesicle and plasma membrane PLA2 activity. The effects of the vitamin D metabolites were noticed after both 3 and 24 h. Neither hormone metabolite had any effect on these enzymes in membrane fractions from cultures of neonatal rat muscle mesenchymal cells, which do not calcify their matrix in vivo. These data suggest that 1,25-(OH)2D3 and 24,25-(OH)2D3 can directly affect chondrocyte membrane enzymes without genomic influence or protein synthesis and that membrane response depends on the stage of chondrocyte differentiation. Changes in PLA2 activity may change membrane fluidity and may be a mechanism by which the hormones affect cell membranes.
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