Peripheral Action of Calcitonin

Calcitonin acts via specific cell surface receptors located predominantly on the surface of osteoclasts.49 These receptors have also been found in renal tubular epithelium, neural tissue, and lymphocytes.50 The predominant action of calcitonin is to inhibit osteoclast action, although in the physiologic situation calcitonin does not actually cause a lowering of serum calcium levels. Indeed, in patients with medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, in which calcitonin levels may be many thousands of times the normal level, hypocalcemia is not seen. Similarly, patients who have had a total thyroidectomy, with removal of all known C cells, maintain normal calcium metabolism.

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