Vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) concentrations were determined in the sera of 90 cystic fibrosis homozygotes, 57 obligate heterozygotes, and 46 normal controls. Very significantly lower mean concentrations were found in the sera of CF homozygotes compared with both heterozygotes and controls (P<0.01, Wilcoxon Rank Sums Test). Subdivision of the samples by Gc phenotype showed that this relationship held true both in the Gc1 and Gc2-1 phenotypes. The small sample size of the Gc2 genotype makes the significance levels of limited usefulness, but the pattern of variation of DBP levels among CF homozygotes, heterozygotes, and controls was consistent with that observed for the Gc1 and Gc2-1 classes. Haptoglobin levels showed high coefficients of variation when compared among CF homozygotes, obligate heterozygotes, and controls, presumably because of nonspecific elevation in the acute-phase response. Alpha2-macroglobulin levels were, if anything, slightly elevated in CF homozygotes compared with controls, while albumin levels showed no significant mean differences between these groups. Since the DBP concentration does not vary with age nor with levels of vitamin D and its metabolites, we interpret our results to mean that DBP levels are specifically decreased in cystic fibrosis, perhaps as the result of impaired glycosylation of the protein.
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