Journal Article

Lanthanum activates calcium-sensing receptor and enhances sensitivity to calcium

Natalia Carrillo-López, José Luis Fernández-Martín, Daniel Álvarez-Hernández, Ignacio González-Suárez, Patricia Castro-Santos, Pablo Román-García, José Miguel López-Novoa and Jorge Benito Cannata-Andía

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 25, issue 9, pages 2930-2937
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Lanthanum activates calcium-sensing receptor and enhances sensitivity to calcium

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Background. The aim of this study was to investigate whether nanomolar concentrations of lanthanum could influence the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) response.

Methods. Embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells transiently transfected with the human CaSR were used to test the ability of lanthanum to activate the CaSR, either alone or in combination with calcium. CaSR activation was measured by flow cytometry. Parathyroid glands from 4-month-old male Wistar rats with normal renal function (n = 60) were also cultured ex vivo with different concentrations of lanthanum to measure parathyroid hormone (PTH) secreted to the medium and PTH mRNA.

Results. The maximal CaSR activation induced by 1 μM lanthanum chloride (LaCl3) was similar to that induced by 16 mM calcium chloride (CaCl2 16 mM: 294 ± 14%; LaCl3 1 μM: 303 ± 11%). Lanthanum half effective concentration (EC50) was 77.28 nM, lower than the 2.30 mM obtained for calcium, supporting the concept that this metal is a strong agonist of the CaSR. Moreover, lanthanum was also able to enhance CaSR sensitivity to calcium. The presence of 1 nM LaCl3 significantly left-shifted the CaSR response curve, changing the EC50 value for calcium from 2.30 mM (calcium alone) to 1.26 mM (calcium + 1 nM lanthanum). The parathyroid glands cultured with lanthanum showed a trend to secrete less PTH compared to the control glands: 1.51 ± 0.23 (control), 0.91 ± 0.17 (La 100 nM) and 1.04 ± 0.18 (La 400 nM) [(pg/h)/(pg/h), mean ± SEM] (ANOVA P = 0.0145). A similar trend was also observed in PTH synthesis measured by PTH mRNA levels.

Conclusions. These in vitro findings demonstrate that lanthanum, at nanomolar concentrations, is an agonist of the CaSR able to activate it in the absence of calcium. In addition, it can also enhance CaSR sensitivity to calcium, modulating PTH synthesis and secretion.

Keywords: calcimimetic; calcium; calcium-sensing receptor; HEK-293; lanthanum

Journal Article.  4594 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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