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Endocrinology. 2013 Dec;154(12):4469-82. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1627. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Calcium regulates FGF-23 expression in bone.

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MD, Coleman College of Medicine Building, Suite B226, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 956 Court Avenue, Memphis Tennessee 38163.


Calcium has recently been shown to regulate fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), a bone-derived phosphate and vitamin D-regulating hormone. To better understand the regulation of FGF-23 by calcium, phosphorus, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D], and PTH, we examined FGF-23 expression under basal conditions and in response to PTH, doxercalciferol, or high-calcium diet treatment in Gcm2(-/-) and Cyp27b1(-/-) mutant mice. Gcm2(-/-) mice exhibited low serum PTH and 1,25(OH)2D concentrations, hypocalcemia, and hyperphosphatemia, whereas Cyp27b1(-/-) mice had high PTH, undetectable 1,25(OH)2D, hypocalcemia, and hypophosphatemia. Serum FGF-23 levels were decreased in both mutant models. Doxercalciferol administration increased serum FGF-23 levels in both mutant models. PTH administration to Gcm2(-/-) mice also increased serum FGF-23 levels, in association with an increase in both 1,25(OH)2D and calcium concentrations. Multiple regression analysis of pooled data indicated that changes in FGF-23 were positively correlated with serum calcium and 1,25(OH)2D but not related to changes in serum phosphate concentrations. A high-calcium diet also increased serum FGF-23 concentrations in Cyp27b1(-/-) mice in the absence of 1,25(OH)2D and in Gcm2(-/-) mice with low PTH. The addition of calcium to the culture media also stimulated FGF-23 message expression in MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. In addition, FGF-23 promoter activity in cultured osteoblasts was inhibited by the L-calcium-channel inhibitor nifedipine and stimulated by calcium ionophores. The effects of chronic low calcium to prevent 1,25(OH)2D and PTH stimulation of FGF-23 in these mutant mouse models suggest that suppression of FGF-23 plays an important physiological adaptive response to hypocalcemia.

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