Calcitonin (also known as "thyrocalcitonin") is a hormone produced by and secreted from the thyroid gland, an endocrine gland in the human body.
Calcitonin helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood. It decreases the amount of calcium in the blood by inhibiting the action of osteoclasts (cells that break down the bone matrix). Hence, calcitonin promotes the movement of calcium ions Ca(2+) into the bone matrix, simultaneously decreasing the quantity of calcium ions Ca(2+) in the blood.
Calcitonin may be given by injection as part of the treatment of hypercalcaemia and Paget's disease (a bone disease).
See also: What is a Hormone ?
For further general information including the locations of the endocrine glands, see the Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.
- Introduction to the Endocrine System
- What is a hormone ?
- Water Soluble Hormones vs Fat Soluble Hormones
- Triggers for Hormone Release
- Hormone Regulation Feedback Mechanism
- Major Glands of the Endocrine System
- The Pituitary Gland
- The Adrenal Glands
- Non-endocrine tissues that release hormones
- Conditions of the Endocrine System