Calcium and the Control of Mitosis in the Mammal

Abstract

INCREASING the calcium concentration in the environment of various types of isolated mammalian and insect cells hastens their progress through mitosis and also counteracts the transient mitotic inhibition following irradiation1–6. The same effects can be produced in the bone marrow and thymus of the whole animal by raising the blood calcium either directly, by injecting calcium salts, or indirectly through the action of parathyroid hormone7,8. Conversely, lowering the calcium level in the medium of isolated normal or irradiated cells reduces their rate of flow into mitosis6. Reducing the total calcium level in the blood by injecting the chelating compound ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) or inorganic phosphate should therefore reduce the mitotic activity in normal and irradiated marrow and thymus in vivo. Contrary to expectations, the present study shows that these compounds in fact stimulated mitosis.

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PERRIS, A., WHITFIELD, J. Calcium and the Control of Mitosis in the Mammal. Nature 216, 1350–1351 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161350a0

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