Calcium regulation in crustaceans during the molt cycle: a review and update

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2004 Feb;137(2):247-57. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2003.10.012.


Epithelial cells of the gut, gills, antennal glands and integument regulate calcium concentrations in crustaceans during the molt cycle. A cellular calcium transport model has been proposed suggesting the presence of calcium pumps, cation antiporters and calcium channels in transporting epithelial membranes that regulate the movements of this cation across the cell layer. Basolateral calcium transport during postmolt appears mainly regulated by the low affinity NCX antiporter, while calcium regulating 'housekeeping' activities of these cells in intermolt are controlled by the high affinity calcium ATPase (PMCA). A model is proposed for the involvement of the epithelial ER in the massive transepithelial calcium fluxes that occur during premolt and postmolt. This model involves the endoplasmic reticulum SERCA and RyR proteins and proposed cytoplasmic unstirred layers adjacent to apical and basolateral plasma membranes where calcium activities may largely exceed those in the bulk cytoplasmic phase. A result of the proposed transepithelial calcium transport model is that large quantities of calcium can be moved through these cells by these processes without affecting the low, and carefully controlled, bulk cytoplasmic calcium activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Crustacea / growth & development*
  • Crustacea / metabolism*
  • Crustacea / physiology
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / physiology
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Molting / physiology*
  • Plasma Membrane Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / physiology
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / metabolism
  • Thapsigargin / pharmacology
  • Vanadates / pharmacology


  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
  • Vanadates
  • Thapsigargin
  • Plasma Membrane Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Calcium