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J Endocrinol. 1997 Jun;153(3):437-44.

Ca2+ receptor mRNA and protein increase in the rat parathyroid gland with advancing age.

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  • 1Endocrine Research Unit, Veterans' Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA.


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) release is regulated by extracellular calcium through a Ca2+ receptor (CaR) located on the surface of the parathyroid cell. With advancing age, the serum concentration of PTH increases, and evidence suggests that the calcium set-point for PTH release may also increase. To determine whether these changes are linked to a change in CaR expression, we quantitated mRNA and protein for the receptor in parathyroid glands of 6-week-, 6-month- and 24-month-old rats. Thyroid and kidney tissue were also studied. Between 6 weeks and 24 months of age, CaR mRNA in the parathyroid gland increased 11.4- and 3.3-fold as measured by competitive reverse transcription PCR and solution hybridization assays respectively. Message levels for the receptor also increased in the thyroid but not in the kidney. Coincident with the increase in message levels, receptor protein concentration in the parathyroid increased 7-fold between 6 weeks and 24 months of age. These results suggest that the altered relationship between extracellular calcium and PTH release observed in aging is associated with dramatic changes in CaR metabolism. That PTH secretion is increased despite increased receptor concentration suggests that aging may impair calcium binding or coupling between the CaR and down-stream effector elements in the pathway regulating PTH release.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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