Calcium is an essential ion in all organisms and participates in a variety of structural and functional roles. Calcium (re)absorption occurs in epithelia, including the intestine, kidney, mammary glands, placenta, and gills of fish. Its transport is regulated by a complex array of processes that are mediated by hormonal, developmental, and physiological factors involving the gastrointestinal tract, bone, kidney, and the parathyroids. Here we review the calcium transport mechanisms—paracellular, which is energy independent, and transcellular, which is energy dependent—primarily focusing on the intestine. We provide a new perspective on the facilitated diffusion and vesicular transport models to account for the emerging concepts on transcellular calcium transport. Finally, we discuss how 1,25(OH)D and parathyroid hormone regulate calcium transport.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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