A major physiological role of calcitonin in humans appears to be regulation of skeletal turnover. It has been suggested that another function of calcitonin is to prevent post‐prandial rises in calcium, particularly in animals, but the importance of such a function in man remains to be determined. Although it is known that calcitonin has an inhibitory effect on the secretion of gastrin and insulin, its actions on other gut and pancreatic hormones have not previously been studied. To investigate interrelations between calcitonin and gastrointestinal regulatory peptides, 0·5 mg synthetic human calcitonin was administered to 10 fasting patients. No changes in the plasma concentrations of glucose, somatostatin, neurotensin, enteroglucagon, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide or bombesin were observed. In contrast, profound falls in the circulating levels of gastrin, insulin and pancreatic glucagon were seen, reaching a maximum shortly after the peak of plasma calcitonin concentration. Marked changes were also observed in the levels of motilin, pancreatic polypeptide and, to a lesser extent, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, but the maximal falls occurred about 40 min later, coinciding with a significant fall in serum calcium. It is possible that the effect of calcitonin on these hormones was direct, perhaps receptor‐mediated. The falls in levels of motilin and pancreatic polypeptide could have been further enhanced by changes in extracellular calcium ion concentrations. Whether any of these effects of calcitonin occur physiologically remains to be determined. However, these findings suggest new therapeutic possibilities for calcitonin.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - May 1985|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism