Renal control of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium homeostasis

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Jul 7;10(7):1257-72. doi: 10.2215/CJN.09750913. Epub 2014 Oct 6.


Calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are multivalent cations that are important for many biologic and cellular functions. The kidneys play a central role in the homeostasis of these ions. Gastrointestinal absorption is balanced by renal excretion. When body stores of these ions decline significantly, gastrointestinal absorption, bone resorption, and renal tubular reabsorption increase to normalize their levels. Renal regulation of these ions occurs through glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption and/or secretion and is therefore an important determinant of plasma ion concentration. Under physiologic conditions, the whole body balance of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium is maintained by fine adjustments of urinary excretion to equal the net intake. This review discusses how calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are handled by the kidneys.

Keywords: calcium; cell and transport physiology; channel; electrolytes; ion; renal physiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / blood
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium / urine
  • Gastrointestinal Absorption
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / urine
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phosphates / urine
  • Renal Elimination
  • Renal Reabsorption


  • Phosphates
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium