Objective: To test the hypothesis that the hypocalcemia and hypoparathyroidism that follow severe burn injury are related to up-regulation of the parathyroid gland calcium-sensing receptor (CaR), which may reduce the set-point for suppression of circulating parathyroid hormone by blood calcium. Design: A controlled but unblinded study. Setting: An investigational intensive care unit. Subjects: Female range ewes. Intervention: Sheep were subjected to a 40% total body surface area burn under anesthesia (n = 9) or sham burn receiving anesthesia and fluid resuscitation only (n = 8) and were killed 48 hrs postburn. Measurements and Results: Blood ionized calcium, magnesium, and creatinine, and urinary calcium, magnesium, and creatinine were monitored for 48 hrs. After the sheep were killed, parathyroids (burn group, n = 3; sham group, n = 4) and kidneys (n = 4, each group) were harvested, snap frozen in liquid nitrogen, and analyzed for CaR messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) by Northern blot, and were analyzed for CaR cell-surface staining by immunocytochemistry with a polyclonal CaR-specific antiserum (parathyroids only). Burned sheep were hypocalcemic and hypomagnesemic compared with sham-burned control sheep. CaR mRNA was increased by 50% (p < 0.005, analysis of variance) with a corresponding increase in the intensity of CaR immunoreactivity associated with the cell surface in parathyroids obtained from burned (n = 3) compared with sham-burned (n = 2) sheep. These findings are consistent with up-regulation of the parathyroid CaR and a related decrease in set-point for calcium suppression of parathyroid hormone secretion that may contribute to the previously reported postburn hypoparathyroidism and hypocalcemia.
- Calcium-sensing receptor
- Magnesium depletion
- Parathyroid glands
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine