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Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun;27(3):443-53. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2013.02.010. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

The extracellular calcium-sensing receptor, CaSR, in fetal development.

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  • 1School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.


In fetal mammals, serum levels of both total and ionized calcium significantly exceed those in the adult. This relative fetal hypercalcemia is crucial for skeletal development and is maintained irrespectively of maternal serum calcium levels. Elegant studies by Kovacs and Kronenberg have previously addressed the role of the CaSR in creating and maintaining this relative fetal hypercalcemia, through the regulation of parathyroid hormone-related peptide secretion. More recently we have shown that the CaSR is widely distributed throughout the developing fetus, where the receptor plays major, unexpected roles in ensuring growth and maturation of several organs. In this article, we present evidence for a role of the CaSR in the control of skeletal development, and how fetal hypercalcemia, acting through the CaSR, regulates lung development.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


RANK ligand; calcium-sensing receptor; fetal hypercalcemia; fetal lung development; growth plate cartilage; osteoblasts; skeletal development

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