Baillière's Best Practice and Research in Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism vol:17 issue:4 pages:529-46
To ensure a multitude of essential cellular functions, the extracellular concentration of calcium is maintained within a narrow physiological range. This depends on integrated regulation of calcium fluxes with respect to the intestine, kidneys and bone. The precise regulation of serum calcium is controlled by calcium itself, through a calcium receptor and several hormones, the most important of which are parathyroid hormone and 1,25(OH)(2) vitamin D. This balance can be disturbed by mutations in the calcium-sensing receptor, inappropriately high or low levels of parathyroid hormone, resistance to parathyroid hormone effects, insufficient intake or production of 1,25(OH)(2) vitamin D and inactivation of the vitamin D receptor. Mineral homeostasis is moreover influenced by many other systemic factors (e.g. sex steroid, thyroid and glucocorticoid hormones) or humoral factors (e.g. cytokines and growth factors). A specific example is the major abnormalities of mineral homeostasis in case of malignancy by excessive production of parathyroid hormone-related peptide resulting in hypercalcaemia. Several new drugs have been developed based on factors in this axis, including calcimimetics, calcilytics, vitamin D analogues and parathyroid hormone-related peptide inhibitors.