To determine the influence of dietary calcium on spaceflight-induced alterations in calcium metabolism and blood pressure (BP), 9-wk-old spontaneously hypertensive rats, fed either high- (2%) or low-calcium (0.02%) diets, were flown on an 18-day shuttle flight. On landing, flight animals had increased ionized calcium (P < 0.001), elevated parathyroid hormone levels (P < 0.001), reduced calcitonin levels (P < 0.05), unchanged 1,25(OH)2D3 levels, and elevated skull (P < 0.01) and reduced femur bone mineral density. Basal and thrombin-stimulated platelet free calcium (intracellular calcium concentration) were also reduced (P < 0.05). There was a tendency for indirect systolic BP to be reduced in conscious flight animals (P = 0.057). However, mean arterial pressure was elevated (P < 0.001) after anesthesia. Dietary calcium altered all aspects of calcium metabolism (P < 0.001), as well as BP (P < 0.001), but the only interaction with flight was a relatively greater increase in ionized calcium in flight animals fed low- compared with high-calcium diets (P < 0.05). The results indicate that 1) flight-induced disruptions of calcium metabolism are relatively impervious to dietary calcium in the short term, 2) increased ionized calcium did not normalize low-calcium-induced elevations of BP, and 3) parathyroid hormone was paradoxically increased in the high-calcium-fed flight animals after landing.
- Dietary calcium
- Parathyroid hormone
- Platelet intracellular calcium
- Spontaneously hypertensive rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)