The changes in serum calcium and the renal handling of this ion were evaluated during phosphate depletion. 96 renal clearance studies were carried out in 10 dogs before and after prolonged phosphate depletion (30-160 days) and after repletion. Depletion was produced by reducing phosphate intake and administering aluminum hydroxide gel while intakes of sodium, calcium, and magnesium were constant. With phosphate depletion, serum phosphorus fell to less than 1.0 mg/100 ml and diffusible serum calcium either remained unchanged or rose transiently. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) fell by 15 to 53%. Despite the reduced filtered load of calcium, its fractional excretion increased in most experiments. This hypercalciuria was not dependent upon changes in sodium or magnesium excretion, or the urinary concentration of complexing anions, and persisted after sodium restriction. Phosphate repletion reversed the effects on GFR and calcium excretion. The intravenous infusion of small quantities of phosphate (0.04 mmole/min) into either intact or thyroparathyroidectomized (T-PTX), phosphate-depleted animals caused a significant reduction in fractional excretion of calcium, but the intrarenal infusion of 0.02 mmole/min of phosphate into one kidney failed to produce an ipsilateral effect. The administration of parathyroid extract reduced fractional calcium excretion, but the latter remained significantly elevated. After T-PTX, fractional calcium excretion did not increase in the phosphate-depleted animals. Furthermore, serum calcium was normal after T-PTX until serum phosphorus increased slightly, and only then did hypocalcemia develop. These observations indicate that (a) phosphate depletion produces hypercalciuria through a reduction in tubular reabsorption of calcium which is not due to changes in the tubular reabsorption of other ions; this effect is not reversed by the direct intrarenal infusion of phosphate; (b) a state of functional hypoparathyroidsm occurs during phosphate depletion which may, in part, cause reduced tubular reabsorption of calcium; (c) other extra renal mechanism(s), possibly related to events occurring in bone as a result of phosphate depletion, may have an effect on urinary calcium excretion; and (d) in the phosphatedepleted state, parathyroid hormone is not required for the maintenance of a normal level of serum calcium.
Jack W. Coburn, Shaul G. Massry