Calcium-sensing receptor: A key target for extracellular calcium signaling in neurons

Brian L. Jones, Stephen M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Though both clinicians and scientists have long recognized the influence of extracellular calcium on the function of muscle and nervous tissue, recent insights reveal that the mechanisms allowing changes in extracellular calcium to alter cellular excitability have been incompletely understood. For many years the effects of calcium on neuronal signaling were explained only in terms of calcium entry through voltage-gated calcium channels and biophysical charge screening. More recently however, it has been recognized that the calcium-sensing receptor is prevalent in the nervous system and regulates synaptic transmission and neuronal activity via multiple signaling pathways. Here we review the multiplicity of mechanisms by which changes in extracellular calcium alter neuronal signaling and propose that multiple mechanisms are required to describe the full range of experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - Mar 30 2016


  • Action potentials
  • Calcium
  • Calcium sensing receptor
  • Excitability
  • Ion channels
  • Nervous system
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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