LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Salmon calcitonin hormone molecule. Computer model showing the structure of calcitonin from salmon. Atoms are colour-coded spheres (carbon: dark grey, hydrogen: light grey, nitrogen: blue, sulphur: yellow, and oxygen: red). Calcitonin is a linear polypeptide that is produced primarily by parafollicular cells (C-cells) in the thyroid gland. It acts to reduce blood calcium levels by opposing the effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Salmon calcitonin is used to treat a number of disorders in humans, including postmenopausal osteoporosis, and hypercalcaemia (high calcium blood levels). It is used as it is rapidly absorbed and eliminated from the body and is therfore safer than the human form.
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