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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005 May 1;437(1):51-8.

Effect of age, vitamin D, and calcium on the regulation of rat intestinal epithelial calcium channels.

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Renal Division, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Transepithelial transport of calcium involves uptake at the apical membrane, movement across the cell, and extrusion at the basolateral membrane. Active vitamin D metabolites regulate the latter two processes by induction of calbindin D and the plasma membrane ATPase (calcium pump), respectively. The expression of calbindin D and the calcium pump declines with age in parallel with transepithelial calcium transport. The apical uptake of calcium is thought to be mediated by the recently cloned calcium channels-CaT1 (or ECaC2, TRPV6) and CaT2 (or ECaC1, TRPV5). The purpose of these studies was to determine whether there were age-related changes in intestinal calcium channel regulation and to identify the dietary factors responsible for their regulation. Young (2 months) and adult (12 months) rats were fed either a high calcium or low calcium diet for 4 weeks. The low calcium diet significantly increased duodenal CaT1 and CaT2 mRNA levels in both age groups, but the levels in the adult were less than half that of the young. The changes in calcium channel expression with age and diet were significantly correlated with duodenal calcium transport and with calbindin D levels. To elucidate the relative roles of serum 1,25(OH)2D3 and calcium in the regulation of calcium channel expression, young rats were fed diets containing varying amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Dietary vitamin D or exogenous 1,25(OH)2D3 more than doubled CaT1 mRNA levels, and this regulation was independent of dietary or serum calcium. These findings suggest that the apical calcium channels, along with calbindin and the calcium pump, may play a role in intestinal calcium transport and its modulation by age, dietary calcium, and 1,25(OH)2D3.

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