Dietary calcium modulates spinal cord content of calcitonin gene-related peptide in the rat

Donald J. DiPette, Karin N. Westlund, O. Bryan Holland

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This study was undertaken to determine if calcium status modulates calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) neuronal content. In two separate experiments, young, growing rats and mature rats were placed on low, normal, and high calcium diets for four weeks. CGRP immunostaining was localized immunocytochemically in laminae I and II of the upper thoracic spinal cord in young rats and in the upper thoracic and lumbar spinal cord in mature rats. Low calcium intake decreased dorsal horn CGRP content in young, growing rats, while high calcium diet significantly increased CGRP content, as determined by computer-assisted image processing, in both young and adult rats. A significant positive correlation was found between the serum ionized calcium and CGRP content in laminae I and II. Thus, calcium balance appears to modulate neuronal CGRP content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 19 1988



  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide, Calcium
  • Sensory afferent
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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