Do intracellular stores of calcium have a role in plasma calcium homeostasis?

Updated: Oct 03, 2018
  • Author: Mahendra Agraharkar, MD, MBBS, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Very little evidence suggests that intracellular stores of calcium contribute in any way to plasma calcium homeostasis. An exception is in the parathyroid gland, in which the intracellular concentration increases in response to changes in extracellular concentration, which in turn alters the rate of parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion. Any decrease in extracellular calcium ion concentration leads to an increase in PTH secretion. PTH increases distal renal tubular reabsorption of calcium within minutes and stimulates osteoclast activity, with release of calcium from the skeleton within 1-2 hours. More prolonged PTH elevation stimulates 1alpha-hydroxylase activity in the proximal tubular cells, which leads to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2 D3) production. All these mechanisms help to maintain the serum calcium level within normal limits.


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