PTH and PTH-Related Peptides

  • Giancarlo IsaiaEmail author
  • Margherita Marchetti


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an 84-amino acid polypeptide endocrine hormone that is produced by the parathyroid glands and secreted into the circulation in response to low calcium levels.

PTHrP is a polypeptide that was originally isolated as the factor responsible for humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy. Both peptides hold clinical interest for their capacities to control calcium/phosphate homeostasis and bone metabolism.

In contrast to PTH, PTHrP is a paracrine factor expressed throughout the body.

It is a classical neuroendocrine peptide which is regulated by a variety of agents of the expression and secretion in many different cells. The majority of the actions of PTHrP occur in fetal development.

There are only three identified circumstances in which PTHrP species are present in the circulation and act in an endocrine manner: the humoral hypercalcemic syndrome; lactation, in which PTHrP is made in the breast and reaches the circulation; and fetal life, where PTHrP regulates maternal-to-fetal placental calcium transport.

There remains to the present time no convincing evidence of biologically relevant circulating PTHrP levels otherwise in normal humans.


PTH PTH-related peptides Biosynthesis Metabolism Biological function 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gerontology and Bone Metabolic Disease Section, Department of Medical SciencesUniversity of TorinoTorinoItaly

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