Putney, James W. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
- Concentration and function
- Endoplasmic reticulum
- Plasma membrane
- Excess cytoplasmic calcium and cell death
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The use and maintenance of calcium levels in the body. Calcium is essential to all forms of life. It plays fundamental roles in cell biology and signaling, in the functioning of organs and organ systems, and in the functioning of organisms. In the most complex organisms, vertebrates, calcium is a key ingredient in the skeleton. In vertebrates, about 99% of total body calcium is found in bones, in the form of a crystalline structure called hydroxylapatite. This calcium not only forms the basis of skeletal rigidity and structure but also serves as a reservoir for calcium that can be mobilized to the blood in response to specific environmental or endocrine signals. When excessive resorption of bone occurs due to inadequate calcium or vitamin D in the diet, diseases result, the symptoms of which may include misshapen skeletal structure and bones which break easily. See also: Bone; Calcium
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