Parathyroid hormone sensitizes long bones to the stimulation of bone resorption by 1,25‐dihydroxyvitamin D3

J. P.T.M. van Leeuwen*, J. C. Birkenhäger, M. P. Bos, G. J.C.M. van der Bemd, M. P.M. Herrmann‐Erlee, H. A.P. Pols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In response to hypocalcemia the serum PTH level increases rapidly followed by a PTH‐induced rise in 1,25‐dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25‐(OH)2D3] production. Therefore, bone is first exposed to increased PTH levels before increased 1,25‐(OH)2D3 levels. In the present study the effect of pretreatment with PTH on 1,25‐(OH)2D3‐induced bone resorption was examined. Bone resorption was measured as release of prelabeled 45Ca during culture from 17‐day‐old fetal mice radii/ulnae and metatarsals. Radii/ulnae and metatarsals are characterized by differences in development. In radii/ulnae mature osteoclasts are present, whereas in metatarsals only different stages of preosteoclasts can be found. Preincubation for 24 h but not 4 h with PTH increases the stimulation of bone resorption by 1,25‐(OH)2D3 in fetal radii/ulnae but not in metatarsals. Coincubation of PTH and 1,25‐(OH)2D3 did not result in a significant change in bone resorption compared to 1,25‐(OH)2D3 alone. The observed difference in the effect of pretreatment with PTH between radii/ulnae and metatarsals indicates that PTH does not stimulate the development of early osteoclast precursors but that a certain level of differentiation of the osteoclast precursor is required. Pretreatment with prostaglandin E2 resulted in an effect similar to that of PTH. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by indomethacin prevented the potentiation of 1,25‐(OH)2D3‐induced bone resorption by pretreatment with PTH. Thus, the present study demonstrates that PTH sensitizes responses to 1,25‐(OH)2D3. PTH must be present before 1,25‐(OH)2D3 to observe a potentiation of 1,25‐(OH)2D3‐induced bone resorption. Local production of prostaglandins seems to be involved in this action of PTH. Taken together, these data suggest that besides increased renal production of 1,25‐(OH)2D3 PTH also sensitizes bone for the 1,25‐(OH)2D3‐induced bone resorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992


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