Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 187–219 | Cite as

Calcium sensing by endocrine cells



The elucidation of the structure and function of the Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaR) has provided important insights into the normal control of Cao 2+ homeostasis, particularly the key role of the receptor in kidney and parathyroid. Further studies are needed to define more clearly the homeostatic role of the CaR in additional tissues, both those that are involved and those that are uninvolved in systemic Ca2+ o homeostasis. The availability of the cloned CaR has also permitted documentation of the molecular basis of inherited disorders of Ca2+ o sensing, including those in which the receptor is less and or more sensitive than normal to Ca2+ o. Antibodies to the CaR that either activate it or inactivate it produce syndromes resembling the corresponding genetic diseases. Expression of, the receptor is abnormally low in 1o and 2o hyperparathyroidism, which could, contribute to the defective Ca2+ o sensing in these conditios. The recent discovery of calciumimetics, which sensitize the CaR to Ca2+ o, has provided what will likely be an effective medical therapy for the secondary/tertiary hyperparathyroidism of end stage renal failure as well as for 1o hyperparathyroidism.

Key Words

Calcium sensing receptor parathyroid cell familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia endocrine cells calcimimetics 


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© Humana Press Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and HypertensionBrighamrand Women’s HospitalBoston

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