Serum calcium (Ca) is maintained in a narrow range through regulation of Ca metabolism in the intestine, kidney, and bone. Calcium is incorporated and resorbed from bone during bone remodeling via cellular processes as well as by exchange. Both routes contribute to calcium homeostasis. To assess the magnitude of bone turnover contribution to calcium homeostasis we labeled bone with a Ca tracer and measured Ca release following stimulation or suppression of bone resorption. Young growing male rats (n = 162) were dosed with 45 Ca to label skeletal Ca. After a one-month period to allow the label to incorporate into the skeleton, rats were treated with a bone resorption antagonist (OPG), a bone resorption agonist (RANKL), or vehicle control (PBS). Serum and urine 45 Ca and total Ca, and serum TRACP5b (a bone resorption biomarker), were monitored for 45 days following treatment. Tracer data were analyzed by a compartmental model using WinSAAM to quantify dynamic changes in Ca metabolism and identify sites of change following treatment. In RANKL treated rats, both serum 45 Ca and serum TRACP5b were increased by >70% due to a 25-fold increase in bone resorption. In OPG treated rats, both serum 45 Ca and serum TRACP5b were suppressed by >70% due to a 75% decrease in bone resorption, a 3-fold increase in bone formation, and a 50% increase in absorption. Because TRACP5b and 45 Ca responded similarly, we conclude that Ca release from bone into serum occurs mostly via osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. However, because serum Ca concentration did not change with altered resorption in response to either RANKL or OPG treatment, we also conclude that serum Ca concentration under normal dietary conditions in young growing male rats is maintained by processes in addition to cellular bone resorption.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism