Activation of the calcium sensing receptor stimulates gastrin and gastric acid secretion in healthy participants

Osteoporos Int. 2009 Jan;20(1):71-8. doi: 10.1007/s00198-008-0637-8. Epub 2008 Jun 7.


In 17 adults on a fixed metabolic diet, an 11-day course of cinacalcet increased serum gastrin and basal gastric acid output, but not maximal gastric acid output, compared with a placebo. These findings indicate that the calcium sensor receptor plays a role in the regulation of gastric acid.

Introduction: Gastric acid secretion is a complex process regulated by neuronal and hormonal pathways. Ex vivo studies in human gastric tissues indicate that the calcium sensing receptor (CaR), expressed on the surface of G and parietal cells, may be involved in this regulation. We sought to determine whether cinacalcet, a CaR allosteric agonist, increases serum gastrin and gastric acid secretion.

Methods: Seventeen healthy adults with normal gastric acid output were placed on an 18-day metabolic diet. On day 8 (baseline), participants were given cinacalcet (15 then 30 mg/day) or placebo for 11 days. Changes in gastric acid output, serum gastrin, and other measures were compared in the two groups.

Results: Changes in serum gastrin and basal acid output (adjusted for baseline body weight) were significantly more positive in the cinacalcet group compared with placebo (P = 0.004 and P = 0.039 respectively). Change in maximal acid output was similar in the two groups (P = 0.995). As expected, cinacalcet produced significant decreases in serum PTH (P < 0.001) and ionized calcium levels (P = 0.032), and increases in serum phosphorus levels (P = 0.001) and urinary calcium (P = 0.023).

Conclusions: This study provides in vivo evidence that activation of the CaR increases serum gastrin levels and basal gastric acid secretion in healthy adults.

Trial registration: NCT00336739.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Calcium / blood
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium / urine
  • Cinacalcet
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Female
  • Gastric Acid / chemistry
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism*
  • Gastric Juice / chemistry
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastrins / analysis
  • Gastrins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Phosphorus / blood
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / drug effects
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / metabolism*
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Gastrins
  • Naphthalenes
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing
  • Phosphorus
  • Creatinine
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Cinacalcet

Associated data