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Am J Physiol. 1991 Feb;260(2 Pt 1):E220-5.

Regulation of parathyroid hormone secretion by plasma calcium in aging rats.

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Department of Physiology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112.


Plasma immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (irPTH) levels increase with aging. This study determined 1) whether NH2-terminal irPTH secretory responses to induced hypocalcemia differ between adult (6-mo-old) and aged (24- to 26-mo-old) male rats and 2) whether a higher set point for irPTH release by Ca is responsible for the elevated irPTH levels with aging. Basal irPTH levels were 68% higher and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 levels were 44% lower in aged rats. An acutely induced, constant hypocalcemic stimulus [0.32 mM decrement in ionized Ca (Ca2+) for 2 h] was developed in catheterized conscious adult and aged rats by ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) infusion using the Ca clamp technique. The initial irPTH secretory response to acute hypocalcemia (5-10 min) was reduced in aged rats (1.9- vs. 3.1-fold increase), suggesting reduced hormone stores. However, higher sustained irPTH levels (30 min to 2 h) were maintained in aged rats, indicating increased irPTH synthesis and release. The EGTA infusion rate necessary to maintain constant hypocalcemia was less in aged rats, suggesting skeletal resistance to PTH. Slow EGTA and Ca infusions were used to determine irPTH secretion at plasma Ca2+ levels from 0.7 to 1.5 mM. In aged rats, irPTH levels were higher at all Ca2+ concentrations, but the set point for irPTH release by Ca2+ was the same as in adult rats. Thus the elevated irPTH secretion in aged rats is not caused by a change in the set point for irPTH release but does result in decreased irPTH stores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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