Table of Contents
Advances in Andrology
Volume 2014, Article ID 808906, 10 pages
Review Article

Functional Importance of 1α,25(OH)2-Vitamin D3 and the Identification of Its Nongenomic and Genomic Signaling Pathways in the Testis

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Bairro Trindade, CP 5069, 88040-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

Received 11 December 2013; Accepted 1 May 2014; Published 29 May 2014

Academic Editor: Nafisa H. Balasinor

Copyright © 2014 Fátima Regina Mena Barreto Silva. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The 1α,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 (1,25-D3) is known by its classic effects on Ca2+ metabolism and regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation. The hormone 1,25-D3 acts in the testis through nongenomic and genomic events being implicated in the success of spermatogenesis in rats and in human being. The aim of this review was to highlight the effect and intracellular pathways of 1,25-D3 to modulate the spermatogenesis. The pivotal role of 1,25-D3 in male reproduction is reinforced by the presence of VDR and 1α-hydroxylase in reproductive tract. Also, the marked expression of VDR and the VD metabolizing enzymes in human testis, ejaculatory tract, and mature spermatozoa implicates the 1,25-D3 in spermatogenesis and maturation of human spermatozoa. Among genomic events, 1,25-D3 influences the expression of calcium binding protein and stimulates aromatase gene expression through a nongenomic activation of the membrane-bound VDR receptor involving the PKA pathway in the testis. Also, 1,25-D3 stimulates amino acid transport and exocytosis in testis by nongenomic events coupled to ionic currents triggered at plasma membrane. All together, the demonstration that 1,25-D3 regulates both Sertoli cell and sperm function may be useful for the study and development of new therapeutic strategies for the male reproductive disorders.