Putney, James W. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:November 2019
Show previous versions
- Concentration and function
- Endoplasmic reticulum
- Plasma membrane
- Excess cytoplasmic calcium and cell death
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The use and maintenance of calcium levels in the body. Calcium metabolism is the sum of the biochemical and physiological processes involved in maintaining the concentration of calcium in plasma (the fluid portion of blood or lymph) at a constant level and providing a sufficient supply of calcium for bone mineralization (Fig. 1). In general, 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, that is, vertebrates, calcium is a key ingredient in the skeleton. In vertebrates, about 99% of total body calcium is found in bones, specifically in the form of a crystalline structure called hydroxyapatite (also spelled as 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, and the symptoms of these diseases may include misshapen skeletal structure and bones that break easily. See also: Bone; Calcium; Metabolism; Skeletal system; Vitamin D
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information