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1.  An LRP5 Receptor with Internal Deletion in Hyperparathyroid Tumors with Implications for Deregulated WNT/β-Catenin Signaling 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(11):e328.
Hyperparathyroidism (HPT) is a common endocrine disorder with incompletely understood etiology, characterized by enlarged hyperactive parathyroid glands and increased serum concentrations of parathyroid hormone and ionized calcium. We have recently reported activation of the Wnt signaling pathway by accumulation of β-catenin in all analyzed parathyroid tumors from patients with primary HPT (pHPT) and in hyperplastic parathyroid glands from patients with uremia secondary to HPT (sHPT). Mechanisms that may account for this activation have not been identified, except for a few cases of β-catenin (CTNNB1) stabilizing mutation in pHPT tumors.
Methods and Findings
Reverse transcription PCR and Western blot analysis showed expression of an aberrantly spliced internally truncated WNT coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 5 (LRP5) in 32 out of 37 pHPT tumors (86%) and 20 out of 20 sHPT tumors (100%). Stabilizing mutation of CTNNB1 and expression of the internally truncated LRP5 receptor was mutually exclusive. Expression of the truncated LRP5 receptor was required to maintain the nonphosphorylated active β-catenin level, transcription activity of β-catenin, MYC expression, parathyroid cell growth in vitro, and parathyroid tumor growth in a xenograft severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mouse model. WNT3 ligand and the internally truncated LRP5 receptor strongly activated transcription, and the internally truncated LRP5 receptor was insensitive to inhibition by DKK1.
The internally truncated LRP5 receptor is strongly implicated in deregulated activation of the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway in hyperparathyroid tumors, and presents a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Gunnar Westin and colleagues report the expression of an aberrantly spliced LRP5 receptor in primary and spontaneous parathyroid tumors and implicate it in the deregulated activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Editors' Summary
The parathyroid glands—four rice-sized glands in the neck—maintain a normal calcium balance in the body, to maintain strong bones and essential cellular functions. The glands release parathyroid hormone as a response to a decrease in blood calcium level. By stimulating calcium release from bone and its absorption in the gut, parathyroid hormone restores the blood calcium level. However, 100,000 new individuals in the US develop hyperparathyroidism (HPT) annually, characterized by enlarged, overactive parathyroid glands and high blood levels of calcium. Primary HPT (pHPT) is usually caused by a benign tumor (a non-life-threatening growth) in one of the parathyroid glands. Secondary HPT (sHPT) occurs in response to calcium regulatory disturbances, linked to vitamin D deficiency, and more or less invariably develops in patients with uremic kidney disease.
Why Was This Study Done?
HPT is usually treated by surgical removal of the enlarged parathyroid glands, which is done with great efficiency. However, ideally, doctors would like to know what drives the overgrowth of the parathyroid glands to be able to develop drugs for treatment or disease prophylaxis. Researchers recently reported that the cells in enlarged parathyroid glands from patients with HPT contain high amounts of β-catenin. This protein is part of the Wnt signaling pathway, which has been found to be disrupted in many tumor entities in other organs. In the absence of Wnt proteins, a group of proteins called the β-catenin destruction complex marks β-catenin so that it is rapidly destroyed. When Wnt proteins bind to a cell-surface receptor called Frizzled and a coreceptor called LRP5, the destruction complex is inhibited and β-catenin accumulates. This accumulation induces the production of other proteins (in particular, c-Myc) that stimulate cell growth and division. The accumulation of β-catenin in the enlarged parathyroid glands of patients with HPT could, therefore, significantly contribute to the overgrowth of their glands—but what causes β-catenin accumulation? In this study, the researchers have investigated this question to try to identify a target for drugs to treat HPT.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers looked for genetic changes (mutations) in β-catenin that stabilize the protein and measured the expression of LRP5 in abnormal parathyroid gland tissue from 37 patients with pHPT and 20 with uremia and sHPT. All the samples contained high levels of β-catenin, but only four contained a β-catenin–stabilizing mutation. All the sHPT samples and 32 pHPT samples (but none of the samples containing the β-catenin stabilizing mutation) expressed a mutated LRP5, with the central region deleted. To investigate the functional consequences of this internally deleted LRP5 protein, the researchers used a technique called RNA interference to block its expression in a human parathyroid tumor cell line. They found that expression of the mutated, short LRP5 is required for accumulation of β-catenin, expression of c-Myc, and continued growth of the cell line in test tubes and in animals.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The accumulation of β-catenin in all the enlarged parathyroid glands examined so far strongly implicates abnormal Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the development of pHPT and sHPT. These new findings identify which part of the signaling pathway is altered. The expression data and functional data together suggest that an internally deleted LRP5 coreceptor is often responsible for the accumulation of β-catenin. The functional data also show that expression of shortened LRP5 is necessary for the abnormal growth of parathyroid tumor cells. Exactly how the internally deleted coreceptor activates β-catenin signaling in parathyroid gland cells, or why a shorter-than-normal LRP5 is made, are not yet known. However, because these findings indicate that internally deleted LRP5 has a fundamental role in activating Wnt signaling in HPT, drugs that inactivate this aberrant protein but leave the normal protein unscathed might provide a nonsurgical treatment for this common hormone disorder.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
edlinePlus has encyclopedia pages on hyperparathyroidism, primary hyperparathyroidism, and secondary hyperparathyroidim (in English and Spanish)
Information is available for patients from the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases on hyperparathyroidism, which includes links to organizations that help people with hyperparathyroidism
Wikipedia maintains pages on Wnt signaling pathway and on β-catenin (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC2082644  PMID: 18044981
2.  Effects of Parathyroid Hormone on Skeletal Muscle Protein and Amino Acid Metabolism in the Rat 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1983;71(6):1806-1821.
Because prominent skeletal muscle dysfunction and muscle wasting are seen in both chronic uremia and in primary hyperparathyroidism, and because markedly elevated parathyroid hormone levels occur in both disorders, potential effects of parathyroid hormone on skeletal muscle protein, amino acid, and cyclic nucleotide metabolism were studied in vitro using isolated intact rat epitrochlearis skeletal muscle preparations. Intact bovine parathyroid hormone and the synthetic 1-34 fragment of this hormone stimulated the release of alanine and glutamine from muscle of control but not from chronically uremic animals. This stimulation was dependent upon the concentration of parathyroid hormone added: At 105 ng/ml parathyroid hormone increased alanine release 84% and glutamine release 75%. Intracellular levels of alanine and glutamine were not altered by parathyroid hormone. Increasing concentrations of the 1-34 polypeptide decreased [3H]leucine incorporation into protein of muscles from both control and uremic animals. Using muscles from animals given a pulse-chase label of [guanido-14C]arginine in vivo, parathyroid hormone increased the rate of loss of 14C label from acid-precipitable protein during incubation and correspondingly increased the rate of appearance of this label in the incubation media. Parathyroid hormone increased muscle cAMP levels by 140% and cGMP levels by 185%, but had no effect on skeletal muscle cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase activities as assayed in vitro. Adenylyl cyclase activity in membrane preparations from control but not uremic rats was stimulated by parathyroid hormone in a concentration-dependent fashion. However, no stimulation of guanylyl cyclase activity was noted by parathyroid hormone, although stimulation by sodium azide was present. Incubation of muscles with added parathyroid hormone produced a diminished responsiveness towards epinephrine or serotonin regulation of amino acid release and cAMP formation in the presence compared to the absence of parathyroid hormone. In the absence of parathyroid hormone, detectable inhibition of alanine and glutamine release was produced by 10−9 M epinephrine, whereas in the presence of parathyroid hormone (1,000 ng/ml) inhibition of alanine and glutamine release required 10−6 M or greater epinephrine. Resistance to cyclic AMP action as well as inhibition of cyclic AMP formation by parathyroid hormone was found. Preincubation of rat sarcolemma with 1-34 parathyroid hormone produced a decreased activity of the isoproterenol-stimulable adenylyl cyclase activity but there was no apparent change in the concentration of isoproterenol required for one-half maximal and maximal stimulation of the enzyme.
These findings suggest that high levels of parathyroid hormone have direct effects on skeletal muscle protein, amino acid, and cyclic nucleotide metabolism in muscle of normal but not uremic animals. Treatment with these high levels of parathyroid hormone in vitro appears to reproduce in normal muscle, the metabolic deficits and loss of hormone responsiveness observed in muscle of chronically uremic animals. It is therefore possible that direct effects of parathyroid hormone on skeletal muscle may account in part for the muscle dysfunction and wasting of primary hyperparathyroidism and chronic uremia.
PMCID: PMC370386  PMID: 6306055
3.  Effect Modifying Role of Serum Calcium on Mortality-Predictability of PTH and Alkaline Phosphatase in Hemodialysis Patients: An Investigation Using Data from the Taiwan Renal Registry Data System from 2005 to 2012 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129737.
Predicting mortality in dialysis patients based on low intact parathyroid hormone levels is difficult, because aluminum intoxication, malnutrition, older age, race, diabetes, or peritoneal dialysis may influence these levels. We investigated the clinical implications of low parathyroid hormone levels in relation to the mortality of dialysis patients using sensitive, stratified, and adjusted models and a nationwide dialysis database. We analyzed data from 2005 to 2012 that were held on the Taiwan Renal Registry Data System, and 94,983 hemodialysis patients with valid data regarding their intact parathyroid levels were included in this study. The patient cohort was subdivided based on the intact parathyroid hormone and alkaline phosphatase levels. The mean hemodialysis duration within this cohort was 3.5 years. The mean (standard deviation) age was 62 (14) years. After adjusting for age, sex, diabetes, the hemodialysis duration, serum albumin levels, hematocrit levels, calcium levels, phosphate levels, and the hemodialysis treatment adequacy score, the single-pool Kt/V, the crude and adjusted all-cause mortality rates increased when alkaline phosphatase levels were higher or intact parathyroid hormone levels were lower. In general, at any given level of serum calcium or phosphate, patients with low intact parathyroid hormone levels had higher mortality rates than those with normal or high iPTH levels. At a given alkaline phosphatase level, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was 1.33 (p < 0.01, 95% confidence interval 1.27–1.39) in the group with intact parathyroid hormone levels < 150 pg/mL and serum calcium levels > 9.5 mg/dL, but in the group with intact parathyroid hormone levels > 300 pg/mL and serum calcium levels > 9.5 mg/dL, the hazard ratio was 0.92 (95% confidence interval 0.85–1.01). Hence, maintaining albumin-corrected high serum calcium levels at > 9.5 mg/dL may correlate with poor prognoses for patients with low intact parathyroid hormone levels.
PMCID: PMC4479575  PMID: 26107510
4.  Prevalence of hypogonadism in male patients with renal failure 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2006;82(972):693-696.
Hypogonadism in men may be secondary to renal failure and is well recognised in patients with end‐stage renal disease. It is thought to contribute to the sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis experienced by these patients. However, the association between hypogonadism and lesser degrees of renal dysfunction is not well characterised.
The gonadal status of 214 male patients (mean age 56 (SD 18) years) attending a renal centre was studied; 62 of them were receiving haemodialysis and 22 continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis for end‐stage renal disease, whereas 34 patients had functioning renal transplants and 96 patients were in the low‐clearance phase. Non‐fasting plasma was analysed for testosterone, follicle‐stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, sex hormone‐binding globulin, parathyroid hormone and haemoglobin. Creatinine clearance was estimated in patients not on dialysis, and Kt/V and urea reduction ratio were assessed in patients on dialysis. Testosterone concentrations were classified as normal (>14 nmol/l), low‐normal (10–14 nmol/l) or low (<10 nmol/l).
56 (26.2%) patients had significantly low testosterone levels and another 65 (30.3%) had low‐normal levels. No significant changes were seen in sex hormone‐binding globulin or gonadotrophin levels. Gonadal status was not correlated with haemoglobin level, parathyroid hormone level, creatinine clearance, or dialysis duration or adequacy.
Over half of patients with renal failure, even in the pre‐dialysis phase, have low or low‐normal levels of testosterone, which may be a potentially reversible risk factor for osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction. These patients may be candidates for testosterone‐replacement therapy, which has been shown to improve bone mineral‐density and libido in men with low and low‐normal testosterone levels.
PMCID: PMC2653914  PMID: 17068282
end‐stage renal disease (ESRD); hypogonadism; osteoporosis; pre‐dialysis; renal transplants; renal replacement therapy (RRT); testosterone
5.  Menopause Analytical Hormonal Correlate Outcome Study (MAHCOS) and the Association to Brain Electrophysiology (P300) in a Clinical Setting 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e105048.
Various studies have demonstrated that increased leptin levels and obesity are inversely related to cognitive decline in menopausal women. It is hypothesized that adiposity is inversely correlated with cognitive decline, as women with increased weight are less vulnerable to diminishing cognition. However, it is increasingly observed that menopausal women, even with increased adiposity, experience significant cognitive decline. Positron emission tomography (PET) has been used to analyze cognitive function and processing in menopausal women. Evoked potentials (P300) and neurophysiologic tests have validated brain metabolism in cognitively impaired patients. Post-hoc analyses of 796 female patients entering PATH Medical Clinic, between January 4, 2009 and February 24, 2013, were performed as part of the “Menopause Analytical Hormonal Correlate Outcome Study” (MAHCOS). Patient age range was 39–76 years (46.7±0.2). P300 latency and amplitude correlated with a number of hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, estrone, estriol, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, free and total testosterone, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Vitamins D 1.25 and D 25OH, leptin, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGF-BP3). Corrected statistics did not reveal significant associations with P300 latency or amplitude for these hormones except for leptin plasma levels. However, factor analysis showed that FSH and LH clustered together with Vitamin D1.25 and Vitamin D25OH, P300 latency (not amplitude), and log leptin were found to be associated in the same cluster. Utilizing regression analysis, once age adjusted, leptin was the only significant predictor for latency or speed (p = 0.03) with an effect size of 0.23. Higher plasma leptin levels were associated with abnormal P300 speed (OR = 0.98). Our findings show a significant relationship of higher plasma leptin levels, potentially due to leptin resistance, and prolonged P300 latency. This suggests leptin resistance may delay electrophysiological processing of memory and attention, which appears to be the first of such an association.
PMCID: PMC4174522  PMID: 25251414
6.  Prolactin Receptor in Primary Hyperparathyroidism – Expression, Functionality and Clinical Correlations 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36448.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is an endocrine disorder most commonly affecting women, suggesting a role for female hormones and/or their receptors in parathyroid adenomas. We here investigated the prolactin receptor (PRLr) which is associated with tumours of the breast and other organs.
Methodology/Principal Findings
PRLr expression was investigated in a panel of 37 patients with sporadic parathyroid tumours and its functionality in cultured parathyroid tumour cells. In comparison with other tissues and breast cancer cells, high levels of prolactin receptor gene (PRLR) transcripts were demonstrated in parathyroid tissues. PRLr products of 60/70 kDa were highly expressed in all parathyroid tumours. In addition varying levels of the 80 kDa PRLr isoform, with known proliferative activity, were demonstrated. In parathyroid tumours, PRLr immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm (in all cases, n = 36), cytoplasmic granulae (n = 16), the plasma membrane (n = 12) or enlarged lysosomes (n = 4). In normal parathyroid rim (n = 28), PRLr was uniformly expressed in the cytoplasm and granulae. In in vitro studies of short-term cultured human parathyroid tumour cells, prolactin stimulation was associated with significant transcriptional changes in JAK/STAT, RIG-I like receptor and type II interferon signalling pathways as documented by gene expression profiling. Moreover, PRLR gene expression in parathyroid tumours was inversely correlated with the patients’ plasma calcium levels.
We demonstrate that the prolactin receptor is highly abundant in human parathyroid tissues and that PRLr isoforms expression and PRLr subcellular localisation are altered in parathyroid tumours. Responsiveness of PRLr to physiological levels of prolactin was observed in the form of increased PTH secretion and altered gene transcription with significant increase of RIG-I like receptor, JAK-STAT and Type II interferon signalling pathways. These data suggest a role of the prolactin receptor in parathyroid adenomas.
PMCID: PMC3350524  PMID: 22606260
7.  The Relationship Between Technetium-99m-Methoxyisobutyl Isonitrile Parathyroid Scintigraphy and Hormonal and Biochemical Markers in Suspicion of Primary Hyperparathyroidism 
Objective: Technetium-99m-methoxyisobutyl isonitrile (Tc-99m MIBI) has been widely used to evaluate hyperfunctioning autonomous parathyroid glands in patients with elevated intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) and/or calcium (Ca) level. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between Tc-99m MIBI parathyroid scintigraphy and hormonal and biochemical markers in suspicion of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT).
Material and Methods: Dual-phase Tc-99m MIBI parathyroid scintigraphy and total serum iPTH, Ca, phosphorus (P) and albumin measurements were performed in 60 patients (52 females, 8 males; mean age, 59.38±12.51 years; range, 34 to 86 years) with suspicion of PHPT.
Results: The iPTH median level was 160.3 pg/mL (47.8 to 782.6). Thirty-five of the patients had surgical resection of hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands. Of the 35 patients, parathyroid gland pathology was detected in 30 patients using scintigraphic examination. Tc-99m MIBI parathyroid scintigraphy was negative in 30 patients. The iPTH, Ca and P levels were significantly different between in the Tc-99m MIBI positive group and the negative group, respectively: For iPTH, 202.1 (47.8-782.6) pg/mL versus 111.6 (80.1-373) pg/mL; p<0.001. For Ca, 11.7±1.15 mg/dL versus 10.3±1.05 mg/dL; p<0.001 and for P levels, 2.46±0.62 mg/dL versus 3.40±0.70 mg/dL; p<0.001). There was no significant difference in serum albumin levels between the MIBI positive and MIBI negative groups (4.25±0.27 g/dL versus 4.25±0.41 g/dL; p>0.05). Tc-99m MIBI parathyroid scintigraphy showed good correlation with iPTH level and histopathological diagnosis. Sensitivity and specificity was found 83.3% and 76.7%, respectively at the level of iPTH>147.7pg/mL.
Conclusion: Tc-99m MIBI parathyroid scintigraphy is most likely to produce identification and localization of a parathyroid adenoma when both iPTH and Ca are elevated as well as decreased P levels.
Conflict of interest:None declared.
PMCID: PMC3629790  PMID: 23610725
Technetium-99m sestamibi; primary hyperparathyroidism; parathyroid hormone; calcium; phosphorus
8.  Treatment of osteoporosis with human parathyroid peptide and observations on effect of sodium fluoride. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1990;301(6747):314-318.
OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the need for a randomised study of treatment of spinal osteoporosis with human parathyroid peptide in the secondary prevention of crush fractures; to study the effect of human parathyroid hormone peptide 1-34 plus sex hormones on vertebral body cancellous bone; and, separately, to determine the effect of relatively low doses of sodium fluoride plus calcium on spinal bone mineral density. DESIGN--Open study of patients with primary or postmenopausal osteoporosis. All patients had serial bone densitometry of the spine by quantitative computed tomography and dual photon absorptiometry as well as serial densitometry of the radial midshaft (cortical) and radial distal (trabecular) bone by quantitative computed tomography. Changes in the spinal bone not forming the spongiosa of the vertebral bodies ("cortical" bone) were determined from the difference between the two axial measurements, after correction to the same units of measurement. SETTING--Northwick Park Hospital and Medical Research Council Clinical Research Centre. PATIENTS--24 Patients who fulfilled the conventional criteria for type 1 (vertebral) osteoporosis not secondary to recognised causes other than sex hormone deficiency and with at least one crush or wedge vertebral fracture and a spinal bone density (quantitative computed tomography) less than 80 mg/cm3 or two or more fractures. Twelve patients received human parathyroid peptide and 12 sodium fluoride; they were not randomised. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Trends in axial and peripheral bone mass values determined by linear, time dependent regression analyses. RESULTS--The patients receiving the peptide showed a substantial increase in vertebral spongiosa (mean 25.6 mg/cm2 two years after the start of treatment). No significant changes were seen in spinal cortical or radial bone density. The patients receiving sodium fluoride showed roughly equal increases in cancellous and cortical bone over the same period (mean increase in vertebral spongiosa 16.1 mg/cm3). No significant changes were seen in radial bone. CONCLUSIONS--Treatment of postmenopausal women with human parathyroid peptide selectively increases spinal cancellous bone density by amounts that may prove useful in secondary prevention. Peptide treatment should now be tested in a randomised study in which the important end point is prevention of fractures as the usefulness of sodium fluoride in this context is doubtful.
PMCID: PMC1663613  PMID: 2393738
9.  Short-term effects of synthetic human parathyroid hormone-(1--34) administration on bone mineral metabolism in osteoporotic patients. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1981;68(5):1261-1271.
Since studies in animals and humans have shown that parathyroid hormone can stimulate bone formation and increase trabecular bone, and patients with primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism may exhibit osteosclerosis, we evaluated the effect of short-term administration of human parathyroid hormone, hPTH-(1--34), in patients with osteoporosis. Six patients with osteoporosis underwent detailed studies including blood and urinary measurements of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium; 47Ca kinetic studies; and 18-d balance studies before and during the short-term administration (3--4 wk) of a daily subcutaneous injection of hPTH fragment 1--34 given as 450 or 750 U/dose. The mean fasting plasma calcium values rose slightly after hPTH-(1--34) administration, primarily in the high-dose group. There was no difference in the mean fasting plasma inorganic phosphate levels. The mean daily urinary excretion of calcium and phosphate was significantly increased in patients given the higher dose. In patients given 750 U, net intestinal calcium absorption increased, phosphate absorption increased, calcium balance improved, and phosphate balance improved. In patients given 450 U, calcium balance and phosphate balance worsened. 47Ca kinetic studies showed a minimal increase in bone accretion rate, a decrease in the mean transit time of calcium in the exchangeable pools, and a decrease in the exchangeable-pool size. In all six patients there was an increased renal clearance of 47Ca as a result of hPTH-(1--34) administration. These studies indicate that low doses of parathyroid hormone may promote bone formation, whereas higher doses clearly have an adverse effect on the skeleton.
PMCID: PMC370921  PMID: 7298851
10.  Correlation of vitamin D, bone mineral density and parathyroid hormone levels in adults with low bone density 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2013;47(4):402-407.
Bone mineral densiy (BMD) is known to be affected by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) levels, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels. Indian data pertinent to above observation is scant. Our study aimed to investigate the relationships between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) levels, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels and bone mineral density (BMD) in a cohort of Indian patients.
Materials and Methods:
Adults with or without fragility fractures with low BMD at the hip or lumbar spine were evaluated clinically along with laboratory investigations. T-scores of the hip and spine were derived from BMD-DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Multivariate regression models were used to investigate the relationships between serum 25(OH) D, iPTH and BMD.
Total of 102 patients (male:female = 38:64) with a mean age of 62.5 ± 6.4 years were included in the study. Forty-four patients had osteopenia. Osteoporosis was present in 58 patients. The mean values for serum 25(OH) D and iPTH levels were 21.3 ± 0.5 ng/ml and 53.1 ± 22.3 pg/ml, respectively. In 84.3% of patients, serum 25(OH) D levels were below 30 ng/ml (Normal = 30-74 ng/ml), confirming vitamin D deficiency. There was no association between 25(OH) D levels and BMD at the hip or lumbar spine (P = 0.473 and 0.353, respectively). Both at the hip and lumbar spine; iPTH levels, male gender, body mass index (BMI) and age were found to be significant predictors of BMD. Patients with higher BMI had significantly lower BMD and T-score. At levels <30 ng/ml, 25(OH) D was negatively associated with iPTH (P = 0.041).
Among our cohort of patients with low BMD, no direct relationship between serum 25(OH) D levels and BMD was observed. However, a negative correlation between iPTH and 25(OH) D at serum 25(OH) D concentrations <30 ng/ml. Serum iPTH levels showed a significant negative association with BMD at the hip and lumbar spine. Our findings underscore the critical role of parathyroid hormone in bone metabolism and health.
PMCID: PMC3745696  PMID: 23960286
Bone mineral density; osteoporosis; parathyroid hormone; vitamin D
11.  Bone density parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in middle aged women. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1992;305(6848):273-277.
OBJECTIVE--To examine the relation between bone density and indices of calcium metabolism including parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in middle aged women. DESIGN--A cross sectional study. SETTING AND SUBJECTS--138 women volunteers aged 45-65 with no known osteoporosis and unselected for disease status recruited for a dietary assessment study from the community using general practice registers. Volunteer rate was 20%. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Bone mineral density measured with dual energy x ray absorptiometry. RESULTS--Bone density at the lumbar spine and neck and trochanteric regions of the femur was inversely related to serum intact parathyroid hormone concentrations and positively related to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. These associations were independent of possible confounding factors, including age, body mass index, cigarette smoking habit, menopausal status, and use of diuretics and postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. These associations were apparent throughout the whole distribution of bone density and 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone concentrations within the normal range, suggesting a physiological relation. CONCLUSIONS--The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations influence bone density in middle aged women. Findings from this study together with other work suggest that the role of vitamin D in osteoporosis should not be neglected. The associations with parathyroid hormone also indicate plausible biological mechanisms. The roughly 5-10% difference in bone density between top and bottom tertiles of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, though not large in magnitude, may have considerable public health implications in terms of prevention of osteoporosis and its sequelae, fractures.
PMCID: PMC1882724  PMID: 1392857
12.  The use of pre-operative imaging and intraoperative parathyroid hormone level to guide surgical management of tertiary hyperparathyroidism from X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:7572.
To describe the use of combined preoperative imaging and intraoperative parathyroid hormone as a novel approach in the surgical management of a patient with tertiary hyperparathyroidism associated with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets.
Case presentation
We present the first documented description of combined preoperative imaging and intraoperative parathyroid hormone as well as a review of the literature surrounding the surgical management of tertiary hyperparathyroidism in the setting of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets.
A 23 year-old female with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and renal impairment presented with symptomatic hypercalcemia and tertiary hyperparathyroidism. She had failed medical management and presented for surgical evaluation. Technitium-99 m Sestamibi SPECT imaging and parathyroid ultrasound were used to localize the enlarged parathyroid glands preoperatively. Intraoperative findings correlated well with pre-operative imaging. She underwent successful subtotal parathyroidectomy for four-gland hyperplasia, using intraoperative parathyroid hormone guidance. Despite severe post-operative bone hunger, her serum calcium normalized and she experienced resolution of her preoperative symptoms.
X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets is an uncommon disorder of phosphate metabolism resulting in bone deformity. Patients are predisposed to the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism due to chronic vitamin D supplementation which may progress to tertiary hyperparathyroidism with autonomous parathyroid function. Preoperative evaluation with Technitium-99 m Sestamibi SPECT and ultrasound imaging, as well as the use of intraoperative parathyroid hormone are effective in guiding surgical resection. Subtotal parathyroidectomy with cryopreservation is indicated to produce operative cure and limit the risk of recurrence. Although these patients are susceptible to severe postoperative bone hunger, appropriate supplementation with intravenous and oral calcium can minimize hypocalcemic symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2769362  PMID: 19918472
13.  Parathyroid hormone related protein and hypercalcaemia in breast cancer. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;303(6816):1506-1509.
OBJECTIVE--To see whether parathyroid hormone related protein has a humoral role in breast cancer. DESIGN--Plasma concentrations and tumour expression of parathyroid hormone related protein were determined (by two site immunoradiometric assay and immunohistochemistry respectively) in women with breast cancer and related to the presence of bone metastases and serum calcium concentrations. SUBJECTS--Plasma concentrations of parathyroid hormone related protein were measured in 57 women with early breast cancer without apparent bone metastases, 28 women with bone metastases, and 13 women with bone metastases and hypercalcaemia. Tissue positivity for parathyroid hormone related protein was determined retrospectively in 106 primary breast tumours from women without apparent bone metastases and 72 tumours from women with bone metastases, 25 of whom subsequently developed hypercalcaemia. RESULTS--Plasma parathyroid hormone related protein concentrations were detectable (greater than 0.23 pmol/l) in 12 (92%) of the 13 hypercalcaemic patients with bone metastases compared with 10 (36%) of the 28 normocalcaemic patients with bone metastases and five (9%) of the 57 normocalcaemic patients without bone metastases. Parathyroid hormone related protein concentrations were significantly higher in hypercalcaemic than normocalcaemic patients with bone metastases. Tumour staining was positive for parathyroid hormone related protein in 22 (88%) of the 25 primary breast cancers from patients with bone metastases. Tumour staining was positive for parathyroid hormone related protein in 22 (88%) of the 25 primary breast cancers from patients with bone metastases who later developed hypercalcaemia compared with 25 (53%) of the 47 from women in this group who remained normocalcaemic and 55 (52%) of the 106 early breast cancers from women without known metastases. CONCLUSION--Tumour derived parathyroid hormone related protein may have an important humoral role in hypercalcaemia associated with metastatic breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC1671803  PMID: 1782489
14.  The calcium-sensing receptor regulates parathyroid hormone gene expression in transfected HEK293 cells 
BMC Biology  2009;7:17.
The parathyroid calcium receptor determines parathyroid hormone secretion and the response of parathyroid hormone gene expression to serum Ca2+ in the parathyroid gland. Serum Ca2+ regulates parathyroid hormone gene expression in vivo post-transcriptionally affecting parathyroid hormone mRNA stability through the interaction of trans-acting proteins to a defined cis element in the parathyroid hormone mRNA 3'-untranslated region. These parathyroid hormone mRNA binding proteins include AUF1 which stabilizes and KSRP which destabilizes the parathyroid hormone mRNA. There is no parathyroid cell line; therefore, we developed a parathyroid engineered cell using expression vectors for the full-length human parathyroid hormone gene and the human calcium receptor.
Co-transfection of the human calcium receptor and the human parathyroid hormone plasmid into HEK293 cells decreased parathyroid hormone mRNA levels and secreted parathyroid hormone compared with cells that do not express the calcium receptor. The decreased parathyroid hormone mRNA correlated with decreased parathyroid hormone mRNA stability in vitro, which was dependent upon the 3'-UTR cis element. Moreover, parathyroid hormone gene expression was regulated by Ca2+ and the calcimimetic R568, in cells co-transfected with the calcium receptor but not in cells without the calcium receptor. RNA immunoprecipitation analysis in calcium receptor-transfected cells showed increased KSRP-parathyroid hormone mRNA binding and decreased binding to AUF1. The calcium receptor led to post-translational modifications in AUF1 as occurs in the parathyroid in vivo after activation of the calcium receptor.
The expression of the calcium receptor is sufficient to confer the regulation of parathyroid hormone gene expression to these heterologous cells. The calcium receptor decreases parathyroid hormone gene expression in these engineered cells through the parathyroid hormone mRNA 3'-UTR cis element and the balanced interactions of the trans-acting factors KSRP and AUF1 with parathyroid hormone mRNA, as in vivo in the parathyroid. This is the first demonstration that the calcium receptor can regulate parathyroid hormone gene expression in heterologous cells.
PMCID: PMC2681451  PMID: 19397786
15.  Tumour nuclear oestrogen receptor beta 1 correlates inversely with parathyroid tumour weight 
Endocrine Connections  2015;4(1):76-85.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrinopathy, frequently caused by a parathyroid adenoma, rarely by a parathyroid carcinoma that lacks effective oncological treatment. As the majority of cases are present in postmenopausal women, oestrogen signalling has been implicated in the tumourigenesis. Oestrogen receptor beta 1 (ERB1) and ERB2 have been recently identified in parathyroid adenomas, the former inducing genes coupled to tumour apoptosis. We applied immunohistochemistry and slide digitalisation to quantify nuclear ERB1 and ERB2 in 172 parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas, and ten normal parathyroid glands. All the normal parathyroid glands expressed ERB1 and ERB2. The majority of tumours expressed ERB1 (70.6%) at varying intensities, and ERB2 (96.5%) at strong intensities. Parathyroid carcinomas expressed ERB1 in three out of six cases and ERB2 in five out of six cases. The intensity of tumour nuclear ERB1 staining significantly correlated inversely with tumour weight (P=0.011), and patients whose tumours were classified as ERB1-negative had significantly greater tumour weight as well as higher serum calcium (P=0.002) and parathyroid hormone levels (P=0.003). Additionally, tumour nuclear ERB1 was not expressed differentially with respect to sex or age of the patient. Levels of tumour nuclear ERB2 did not correlate with clinical characteristics. In conclusion, decreased ERB1 immunoreactivity is associated with increased tumour weight in parathyroid adenomas. Given the previously reported correlation with tumour-suppressive signalling, selective oestrogen receptor modulation (SERMs) may play a role in the treatment of parathyroid carcinomas. Future studies of SERMs and oestrogen treatment in PHPT should consider tumour weight as a potential factor in pharmacological responsiveness.
PMCID: PMC4351559  PMID: 25648860
parathyroid adenoma; parathyroid carcinoma; primary hyperparathyroidism; oestrogen receptor beta; oestrogen; selective oestrogen receptor modulators; Visiopharm
16.  P12 - PTHC1: A Continuing Cell Line Expressing PTH and Genes Involved in Calcium Homeostasis 
The main organs regulating serum levels of ionised calcium (Ca2+) are the parathyroids, which are composed of two different cell types: chief cells and oxyphil cells. Chief cells, through the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR), are affected by changes in calcium concentration, modifying PTH secretion in proportion to calcium levels. Current understanding of calcium regulation mechanisms connected to PTH and of the signalling pathways involved derive from in vitro studies carried out on primary cultures of scattered parathyroid cells, because there do not exist parathyroid cell lines able to excrete calcium-regulated PTH. Indeed, it is very difficult to obtain continuous parathyroid cell lines that conserve their functional characteristics because these cells, once cultured, quickly lose their response to calcium. PT-r cells, obtained in 1995 by subsequent clonings, constitute, to date, the only continuous parathyroid cell line described in the literature. This study describes a new cell clone able to secrete PTH, called PTHc1, obtained from hyperplastic tissue of the parathyroid rat.
Materials and methods:
Cell cultures, subcloning and karyotype analysis: The PTHc1 epithelial cell line was cloned by dilution from primary cultures. Ham’s F-12 medium, modified according to Coon and supplemented with calcium 1.1 mM, 10% foetal bovine serum, 100 IU/ml penicillin and 100 mg/ml streptomycin, was used as culture medium. For the karyotype analysis, cells were treated for 4 hours with Colcemid 10-6 M. After the hypotonic treatment for 30 minutes at 37°C with a 0.75% sodium citrate solution cells were fixed in methanol:acetic acid (3:1). More than 300 cells were analysed in metaphase. Analysis of cell growth: PTHc1 cells were plated at 20 cells/cm2 density in culture medium. Growth was estimated in a Burker chamber every 24 h for 7 days. PTH expression and analysis of genes involved in calcium homeostasis: RT-PCR reactions of genes PTH, PTHR, PHLP, Klotho, FGF23, FGF23-R1, FGF23-R2, FGF23-R3, FGF23-R4, ER, ER, GH-R, CDH-1, CDH-7, HRPT2, LRP-5, GCMB-1, GCMB-2, VDR, CaSR, MEN-I, 1ALFA-IDROSSILASI and END-1 were conducted three-fold. Immunocytochemistry: PTHc1 cells were incubated for 30 min at 37°C in culture medium with different concentrations of calcium, fixed in 4% PFA/DPBS for 20 min and permeabilised with 0.5% Triton X-100/DPBS for 10 min. Samples were stained with a primary anti-PTH antibody for 40 min followed by a secondary anti-rabbit antibody with FITC. Actin was stained with falloidine-TRITC. Nuclei were counterstained with TOTO-3 iodide for 30 min, pursuant to digestion with RNAse. Samples were assembled with a medium of polyvinyl alcohol. Images were acquired in confocal microscopy.
Cell clones, obtained cultivating PTHc1 cells in 96-well plates, maintained and presented, even after 12 months of culture, a polygonal shape. A growth curve of PTHc1 clone underlines for these cells a doubling time of 25 h during the exponential phase. A quantitative analysis with RT-PCR and the following sequencing highlighted the expression of PTH, PTHR, PTHLP, ER-alpha, ER-beta, GH-R, HRPT2, LRP-5, VDR, CaSR, MEN-1 and 1-alpha hydroxylase. A confocal microscopy analysis of PTH and of actin in PTHc1 cells highlighted the presence of well-formed actin filaments at 1.2mM and 3mM calcium concentration, while the 0.5mM concentration was characterised by a low signal for actin, particularly at the apical cell pole. PTHc1 cells independently of calcium concentration presented a positive PTH staining response, albeit of varying intensity. The signal was, in fact, more intense at calcium concentrations of 1.2 mM and 3 mM compared with 0.5 mM, suggesting greater hormone secretion at lower calcium concentrations.
This study describes the arrangement and the characterisation of a new cell line obtained from rat hyper-plastic parathyroid tissue, able to secret PTH. An extensive characterisation of proliferative and differentiative properties of PTHc1 clone is under way. We maintain that this cell model may be a useful system for understanding both the physiology and molecular basis of parathyroid gland disorders.
PMCID: PMC3213842
17.  Bone and Mineral Metabolism in Patients with Primary Aldosteronism 
Primary aldosteronism represents major cause of secondary hypertension, strongly associated with high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Aldosterone excess may influence mineral homeostasis, through higher urinary calcium excretion inducing secondary increase of parathyroid hormone. Recently, in a cohort of PA patients a significant increase of primary hyperparathyroidism was found, suggesting a bidirectional functional link between the adrenal and parathyroid glands. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of aldosterone excess on mineral metabolism and bone mass density. In 73 PA patients we evaluated anthropometric and biochemical parameters, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, calcium-phosphorus metabolism, and bone mineral density; control groups were 73 essential hypertension (EH) subjects and 40 healthy subjects. Compared to HS and EH, PA subjects had significantly lower serum calcium levels and higher urinary calcium excretion. Moreover, PA patients showed higher plasma PTH, lower serum 25(OH)-vitamin D levels, higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (65% versus 25% and 25%; P < 0.001), and higher prevalence of osteopenia/osteoporosis (38.5 and 10.5%) than EH (28% and 4%) and NS (25% and 5%), respectively. This study supports the hypothesis that bone loss and fracture risk in PA patients are potentially the result of aldosterone mediated hypercalciuria and the consecutive secondary hyperparathyroidism.
PMCID: PMC4016829  PMID: 24864141
18.  Relationship between parathyroid mass and parathyroid hormone level in hemodialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism 
BMC Nephrology  2015;16:82.
To evaluate the influence of parathyroid mass on the regulation of parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion, we investigated the relationship between the resected parathyroid gland in total parathyroidectomy and the parathyroid hormone level in hemodialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism.
From January 2009 to July 2014, 223 patients undergoing total parathyroidectomy were included. The size and the weight of parathyroid gland were measured during the operation.
874 parathyroid glands were removed. A positive correlation was identified between the size and the weight of resected parathyroid glands. We found that both the preoperative PTH and the reduction of PTH were significantly correlated with the size and the weight of parathyroid glands in a positive manner. However, in the subgroup of patients with PTH < 1000 pg/ml, no significant correlation was found.
Larger parathyroid gland secretes more PTH and high level of serum PTH usually indicated that surgical removal might be required. However, since PTH levels could be influenced by the pharmaceutical drug, the large size of parathyroid gland might be used as a much more appropriate guide that indicates the requirement of surgery treatment even when the parathyroid hormone was less than 1000 pg/ml.
PMCID: PMC4461925  PMID: 26058796
Secondary hyperparathyroidism; Total parathyroidectomy; Parathyroid gland mass; Parathyroid hormone
19.  Increased Bone Mass in Mice after Single Injection of Anti-receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-κB Ligand-neutralizing Antibody 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2011;286(42):37023-37031.
Background: Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand is a pivotal osteoclast differentiation factor.
Results: Daily injection of parathyroid hormone increased bone mass by stimulating bone formation in the anti-receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand antibody-treated mice.
Conclusion: Parathyroid hormone exerted its bone anabolic activity in mice with few osteoclasts.
Significance: Parathyroid hormone requires no osteoclasts for stimulating bone formation.
Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) is a pivotal osteoclast differentiation factor. To investigate the effect of RANKL inhibition in normal mice, we prepared an anti-mouse RANKL-neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Mab, clone OYC1) and established a new mouse model with high bone mass induced by administration of OYC1. A single subcutaneous injection of 5 mg/kg OYC1 in normal mice significantly augmented the bone mineral density in the distal femoral metaphysis from day 2 to day 28. The OYC1 treatment markedly reduced the serum level of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRAP-5b, a marker for osteoclasts) on day 1, and this level was undetectable from day 3 to day 28. The serum level of alkaline phosphatase (a marker for osteoblasts) declined significantly following the reduction of TRAP-5b. Histological analysis revealed few osteoclasts in femurs of the treated mice on day 4, and both osteoclasts and osteoblasts were markedly diminished on day 14. Daily injection of parathyroid hormone for 2 weeks increased the bone mineral density in trabecular and cortical bone by stimulating bone formation in the OYC1-treated mice. These results suggest that parathyroid hormone exerted its bone anabolic activity in mice with few osteoclasts. The mouse anti-RANKL neutralizing antibody OYC1 may be a useful tool to investigate unknown functions of RANKL in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3196100  PMID: 21862583
Antibodies; Bone; Cytokine; Metabolism; Receptors; PTH; RANKL; Denosumab; Osteoblasts; Osteoclasts
20.  Relationship between Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Biochemical and Bone Histomorphometric Alterations in a Chronic Kidney Disease Rat Model Undergoing Parathyroidectomy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133278.
Phosphate burden in chronic kidney disease (CKD) leads to elevated serum fibroblast factor-23 (FGF-23) levels, secondary hyperparathyroidism and chronic kidney disease-mineral bone disorder (CKD-MBD). However dissociated hyperphosphatemia and low serum FGF-23 concentrations have been observed in experimentally parathyoridectomized rats. The relationships between serum mineral, hormone, and bone metabolism may be altered in the presence of CKD. The aim of our study was to investigate whether a consistent relationship existed between serum FGF-23 levels, specific serum biochemical markers, and histomorphometric parameters of bone metabolism in a parathyroidectomized CKD animal model.
Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups: parathyroidectomy (PTX) and CKD (PTX+CKD, 9 rats), CKD without PTX (CKD, 9 rats), and neither PTX nor CKD (sham-operated control, 8 rats); CKD was induced by partial nephrectomy. At 8 weeks after partial nephrectomy, serum biomarkers were measured. Bone histomorphometries of the distal femoral metaphyseal bone were analyzed. The mean serum FGF-23 levels and mean bone formation rate were the highest in the CKD group and the lowest in the PTX+CKD group. Bone volume parameters increased significantly in the PTX+CKD group. Pearson’s correlation revealed that serum FGF-23 levels associated with those of intact parathyroid hormone, phosphate, collagen type I C-telopeptide, and calcium. Univariate linear regression showed that serum FGF-23 values correlated with bone formation rate, bone volume, and osteoid parameters. Stepwise multivariate regression analysis revealed that circulating FGF-23 values were independently associated with bone volume and thickness (β = -0.737; p < 0.001 and β = -0.526; p = 0.006, respectively). Serum parathyroid hormone levels independently correlated with bone formation rate (β = 0.714; p < 0.001) while collagen type I C-telopeptide levels correlated with osteoid parameter.
Serum FGF-23 levels independently correlated with bone volume parameters in rats with experimentally induced CKD.
PMCID: PMC4506049  PMID: 26186634
21.  Validation study of intraoperative fine-needle aspiration of parathyroid tissue with measurement of parathyroid hormone levels using the rapid intraoperative assay 
Surgical treatment of hyperparathyroidism relies on the ability to accurately identify parathyroid tissue. The use of intraoperative fine-needle aspiration (FNA) with measurement of intact parathyroid hormone level (iPTH-FNA) has been suggested as a useful adjunct and is evaluated in this pilot study.
An institutional review board–approved retrospective review was performed on patients undergoing parathyroid exploration for primary hyperparathyroidism who also underwent selective FNA at the end of the procedure. FNA was performed on excised parathyroid tissue, ipsilateral thyroid tissue, and muscle.
Ten patients underwent FNA. Mean iPTH-FNA values were 1559.6 pg/mL (range, 675–1775) for parathyroid, 51.4 pg/mL(range, 10–248) for thyroid, and 34.1 pg/mL (range, 14–128) for muscle. All iPTH-FNA assay results were significantly higher for parathyroid tissue than for either thyroid tissue (P < 0.05) or muscle (P < 0.05). There were no significant iPTH-FNA assay differences between thyroid and muscle (P = 0.09).
Intraoperative FNA of parathyroid tissue with the rapid iPTH assay can correctly identify parathyroid tissue. It may prove to be a useful surgical adjunct in the treatment of hyperparathyroidism.
PMCID: PMC1200727  PMID: 16200175
22.  Parathyroid hormone related peptide and receptor expression in paired primary prostate cancer and bone metastases 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(3):322-325.
Parathyroid hormone-related peptide is a regulatory protein implicated in the pathogenesis of bone metastases, particularly in breast carcinoma. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide is widely expressed in primary prostate cancers but there are few reports of its expression in prostatic metastases. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor in matched primary and in bone metastatic tissue from patients with untreated adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Eight-millimetre trephine iliac crest bone biopsies containing metastatic prostate cancer were obtained from 14 patients from whom matched primary tumour tissue was also available. Histological grading was performed by an independent pathologist. The cellular location of mRNA for parathyroid hormone-related peptide and parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor was identified using in situ hybridization with 35S-labelled probe. Expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor was described as uniform, heterogenous or negative within the tumour cell population. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide expression was positive in 13 out of 14 primary tumours and in all 14 metastases. Receptor expression was evident in all 14 primaries and 12 out of 14 metastases. Co-expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor was common (13 primary tumours, 12 metastases). The co-expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor suggest that autocrine parathyroid hormone-related peptide mediated stimulation may be a mechanism of escape from normal growth regulatory pathways. The high frequency of parathyroid hormone-related peptide expression in metastases is consistent with a role in the pathogenesis of bone metastases.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 322–325. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600115
© 2002 The Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2375222  PMID: 11875691
prostate cancer; parathyroid hormone-related peptide; bone metastases
23.  Suppression of secondary hyperparathyroidism in uraemia: acute and chronic studies. 
A study was conducted evaluating the response of serum parathyroid hormone to acute hypercalcaemia and long term administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) in patients receiving maintenance haemodialysis. During infusion of elemental calcium 4 mg/kg/h over four hours in 12 patients not receiving vitamin D the concentration of serum amino terminal parathyroid hormone fell by 31-96% (mean 74.8 (SD 17.6)%) while that of carboxy terminal parathyroid hormone changed little. There was a strong inverse correlation between baseline serum calcium concentration and percentage fall in amino terminal parathyroid hormone during infusion (r = 0.88; p less than 0.001). In seven patients who received prolonged treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 after calcium infusion there was a positive correlation between maximum percentage fall in amino terminal parathyroid hormone during infusion and the percentage fall in amino terminal parathyroid hormone after 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment (r = 0.79; p less than 0.05). The responsiveness of the parathyroid glands to changes in calcium in acute studies may be used to predict the efficacy of long term treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3. Patients in whom calcium infusion does not suppress parathyroid hormone may have true parathyroid autonomy and require early parathyroidectomy.
PMCID: PMC1444518  PMID: 6419845
24.  Preliminary investigation of plasma levels of sex hormones and human growth factor(s), and P300 latency as correlates to cognitive decline as a function of gender 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:126.
Aging is marked by declines in levels of many sex hormones and growth factors, as well as in cognitive function. The P300 event-related potential has been established as a predictor of cognitive decline. We decided to determine if this measure, as well as 2 standard tests of memory and attention, may be correlated with serum levels of sex hormones and growth factors, and if there are any generalizations that could be made based on these parameters and the aging process.
In this large clinically based preliminary study several sex-stratified associations between hormone levels and cognition were observed, including (1) for males aged 30 to 49, both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (2) for males aged 30 to 49, the spearman correlation between prolonged P300 latency and low free testosterone was significant; (3) for males aged 60 to 69, there was a significant negative correlation between P300 latency and DHEA levels; (4) for females aged 50 to 59 IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (5) for females at all age periods, estrogen and progesterone were uncorrelated with P300 latency; and (6) for females aged 40 to 69, there was significant negative correlation between DHEA levels and P300 latency. Moreover there were no statistically significant correlations between any hormone and Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-111). However, in females, there was a significant positive correlation between estrogen levels and the number of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) complaints.
Given certain caveats including confounding factors involving psychiatric and other chronic diseases as well as medications, the results may still have important value. If these results could be confirmed in a more rigorously controlled investigation, it may have important value in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cognitive impairments and decline.
PMCID: PMC2717101  PMID: 19583872
25.  Thymus-Associated Parathyroid Hormone Has Two Cellular Origins with Distinct Endocrine and Immunological Functions 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(12):e1001251.
In mammals, parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a key regulator of extracellular calcium and inorganic phosphorus homeostasis. Although the parathyroid glands were thought to be the only source of PTH, extra-parathyroid PTH production in the thymus, which shares a common origin with parathyroids during organogenesis, has been proposed to provide an auxiliary source of PTH, resulting in a higher than expected survival rate for aparathyroid Gcm2−/− mutants. However, the developmental ontogeny and cellular identity of these “thymic” PTH–expressing cells is unknown. We found that the lethality of aparathyroid Gcm2−/− mutants was affected by genetic background without relation to serum PTH levels, suggesting a need to reconsider the physiological function of thymic PTH. We identified two sources of extra-parathyroid PTH in wild-type mice. Incomplete separation of the parathyroid and thymus organs during organogenesis resulted in misplaced, isolated parathyroid cells that were often attached to the thymus; this was the major source of thymic PTH in normal mice. Analysis of thymus and parathyroid organogenesis in human embryos showed a broadly similar result, indicating that these results may provide insight into human parathyroid development. In addition, medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) express PTH in a Gcm2-independent manner that requires TEC differentiation and is consistent with expression as a self-antigen for negative selection. Genetic or surgical removal of the thymus indicated that thymus-derived PTH in Gcm2−/− mutants did not provide auxiliary endocrine function. Our data show conclusively that the thymus does not serve as an auxiliary source of either serum PTH or parathyroid function. We further show that the normal process of parathyroid organogenesis in both mice and humans leads to the generation of multiple small parathyroid clusters in addition to the main parathyroid glands, that are the likely source of physiologically relevant “thymic PTH.”
Author Summary
Due to the important role of PTH in the regulation of physiological activities, disorders in PTH production can cause many diseases in humans. Thus it is very important to understand where PTH is produced and how it is regulated. Many people have been found to have ectopic and supernumerary parathyroid glands without clear ontogenesis. In addition, the thymus, which develops together with the parathyroid during embryogenesis, has been proposed to be an auxiliary source of PTH with endocrine function; however, PTH is also a tissue-restricted self-antigen expressed by the thymus. In this paper, we provide insights into the ontogeny and function of thymus-associated PTH. We found that ectopic and supernumerary parathyroid glands originate from the normal developmental process underlying the separation of parathyroid and thymus, resulting in misplaced parathyroids close or attached to thymus. In the thymus, thymic epithelial cells can produce a low level of PTH via a different mechanism than the parathyroid and provide functional data that TEC-derived PTH does not have endocrine function. In summary, our data show that the thymic source of PTH has no endocrine function and, instead, has an expression pattern in the thymus consistent with that of a self-antigen for negative selection.
PMCID: PMC3009658  PMID: 21203493

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