The effects of parathyroid hormone were studied on Ca2+ fluxes in canine renal proximal tubular basolateral membrane vesicles (BLMV). Efflux of Ca2+ from preloaded BLMV was found to be stimulated by an external Na+ gradient, and this was inhibited by the Na+ ionophore, monensin, and enhanced by intravesicular negative electrical potentials, which indicated electrogenic Na+/Ca2+ exchange activity. There was a Na+ gradient independent Ca2+ flux, but membrane binding of Ca2+ was excluded from contributing to the Na+ gradient-dependent efflux. The Na+ gradient-dependent flux of Ca2+ was very rapid, and even 2- and 5-s points may not fully represent absolute initial rates. It was saturable with respect to the interaction of Ca2+ and Na+ with an apparent (5 s) K(m) for Na+-dependent Ca2+ uptake of 10 μM, and an apparent (5 s) V(max) of 0.33 nmol/mg protein per 5 s. The Na+ concentration that yielded half maximal Ca2+ efflux (2 s) was 11 mM, and the Hill coefficient was two or greater. Both Na+ gradient dependent and independent Ca2+ efflux were decreased in BLMV prepared from kidneys of thyroparathyroidectomized (TPTX) dogs, and both were stimulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH) infusion to TPTX dogs. BLMV from TPTX dogs exhibited significantly reduced maximal stimulation of Na+ gradient-dependent Ca2+ uptake with an apparent (5 s) V(max) of 0.23 nmol/mg protein per 5 s, but the apparent K(m) was 8 μM, which was unchanged from normal. The Na+ gradient independent Ca2+ uptake was also reduced in BLMV from TPTX dogs compared with normal. Thus, PTH stimulated both Na+/Ca2+ exchange activity and Na+ independent Ca2+ flux. In vivo, the latter could result in an elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ by PTH, and this might contribute to the observed decrease in solute transport in the proximal tubule.