Animal model of primary hyperparathyroidism

P. Jaeger, W. Jones, M. Kashgarian, R. Baron, T. L. Clemens, G. V. Segre, J. P. Hayslett

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32 Scopus citations


An experimental model of hyperparathyroidism was developed in the rat to simulate primary hyperparathyroidism in humans. In this model thyroparathyroidectomized (TPTX) or parathyroidectomized (PTX) animals were infused for 6 days with an amount of bovine synthetic parathyroid hormone (PTH)-(1-34) fragment to restore plasma calcium levels to normal (0.7 U·h-1) or with PTH at twofold (1.4 U·h-1) or threefold (2.1 U·h-1) this basal level. Animals infused with 2.1 U·h-1 of bovine PTH-(1-34) exhibited hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, a reduction in theoretical renal threshold for phosphate and an increase in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D plasma levels that were approximately threefold the control value. In addition, these animals demonstrated nephrocalcinosis and changes of bone histology that were typical of the findings in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. In contrast, in animals infused at 1.4 U·h-1, plasma calcium, phosphate, and theoretical renal threshold for phosphate remained within normal limits, but plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was increased above control, suggesting that increased activity of 1α-hydroxylase may be the most sensitive index of increased PTH levels. This animal model permits sustained elevation of PTH plasma levels at basal or pathologically elevated levels and should provide an effective means by which to evaluate the consequences of chronic hyperparathyroidism on epithelial function, bone, and other organ systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E790-E798
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 (15/6)
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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