Quantitative analysis of the calcium-sensing receptor messenger RNA in parathyroid adenomas.
BACKGROUND: In primary hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia fails to suppress adequately secretion of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid gland, which may result from failure of the cell-surface calcium receptor (CaR) to sense calcium correctly. Quantification of mRNA concentrations should provide important information on the role of expression of Call in primary hyperparathyroidism. METHODS: We have developed a quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay with a competitive template (CaR-M). Amplified cDNAs for CaR and CaR-M are quantified, and the concentration of CaR mRNA is determined from the ratio of CaR-M/CaR versus known CaR-M concentrations. RESULTS: In parathyroid adenomas (n = 12) the CaR mRNA was 19.2 +/- 2.4 (mean +/- SE) fg/ng total RNA (range, 7.4 to 32.8 fg/ng). Extracellular ionized calcium levels ranged from 1.38 to 1.74 mmol/L (normal 1.19 to 1.31 mmol/L) and parathyroid hormone from 69 to 345 pg/ml (normal, 14 to 65 pg/ml). In spite of the wide variability in CaR expression in the various adenomas, there was no correlation between mRNA and either extracellular ionized calcium (r2 = 0.013) parathyroid hormone levels (r2 = 0.001). Normal human parathyroid glands gave values of 8.0 and 16.6 fg/ng, whereas normal bovine parathyroid glands had a mean of 20 +/- 0.6 fg/ng (n = 4). CONCLUSIONS: There is no apparent relationship between CaR mRNA levels in adenomas and preoperative Ca and PTH levels. Our findings suggest that defective Ca sensing in adenomas may involve post-translational modification or signal transduction distal to the receptor. Our highly sensitive assay for CaR mRNA should prove useful in examining further the role of CaR in Ca sensing in parathyroid tissue.
Garner, SC; Hinson, TK; McCarty, KS; Leight, M; Leight, GS; Quarles, LD
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