Aging caused an increase in serum calcitonin that was markedly suppressed by food restriction. Food restriction had no significant effect on gut calcium absorption, urinary calcium excretion, serum 1,25 (OH)2vitamin D, blood ionized calcium, the clearance of calcitonin from plasma, and its rate of inactivation in vitro by the kidney and liver. In contrast, food restriction modulated an increase with age in calcitonin secreting C-cells, thyroidal calcitonin and thyroidal calcitonin mRNA pools. We conclude that the lowering of age-related increase in serum calcitonin levels by food restriction is likely because of lowered thyroid calcitonin pools rather than changes in the metabolism of calcium, which is the primary stimulus for calcitonin secretion. Our findings also suggest that food restriction decreases age-related increase in calcitonin levels, at least in part, by modulating the expression of the calcitonin gene.
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