Osteoblasts express claudins and tight junction-associated proteins
Although it is generally accepted that calcium ion homeostasis is performed primarily by bone, the mechanism by which this regulation is accomplished remains unclear. The recent demonstration of a metabolism-related electrical potential difference across bone membrane implies an active transport process within this layer of cells lining bone surfaces. This work presents a determination of the effect of parathyroid hormone on the measured potential difference to demonstrate whether this potential is involved in the homeostatic mechanism. A thermodynamic evaluation is performed based on a measurement of the distribution of charged and uncharged tracers between bone extracellular fluid and the bathing medium. For embryonic chick calvaria whose viability was assured by the measurement of oxygen consumption, parathyroid hormone at dosage levels up to pharmacological caused an increase in the measured potential difference and thus in the inferred activity level of ionic transport through the membrane. This result is shown to be consistent with an indirect regulation of Ca++ ion through a variable active transport of K+ ion into the interior of bone and thus provides support for the argument that the membrane potential is part of the calcium homeostatic mechanism.