Calcium homeostasis was studied in freely fed controls, streptozotocin diabetic, long-term and short-term insulin-treated diabetic rats 7 wk after the induction of diabetes. In contrast to the short-term (5-12 day) diabetic rat model, intestinal absorption of calcium was markedly enhanced in chronically insulin-deficient animals. Moreover, conventional balance studies showed that these animals were in positive calcium balance despite severe hypercalciuria. Intestinal hyperabsorption of calcium in long-standing diabetic rats occurred despite low levels of circulating 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and hypercorticosteronism and was attended by hypercalcemia and suppression of both plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) and urinary cyclic 3',5'-AMP (cAMP). Long-term insulin replacement completely normalized the intestinal hyperabsorption of calcium, corrected the plasma calcium, and significantly increased circulating PTH and urinary cAMP excretion. Insulin therapy also corrected the decreased plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D observed in untreated diabetic animals. Intestinal hyperabsorption of calcium appeared to be only partially corrected by short-term insulin therapy. The accumulated results reveal decided differences in calcium homeostasis and hormonal response between the rats with long-standing diabetes and those with diabetes of short duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E451-E456
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982


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