Preliminary reports suggest that PTH is secreted in a pulsatile fashion. However, available studies have not attempted to calculate actual PTH secretion rates in healthy individuals. To accurately characterize PTH secretory dynamics in healthy subjects, we studied seven young women and six young men, all of whom had hip and spine bone densities by dual photon densitometry in the upper tertile for age-matched control subjects. PTH concentrations were measured by immunoradiometric assay in blood sampled every 2 min over 6 h. Ionized calcium levels were obtained during the second and third hours of the study. Plasma PTH profiles were subjected to deconvolution analysis, which resolves measured hormone levels into secretion and clearance components. Cross-correlation analysis was performed to assess direct or inverse correlations between serum PTH and ionized calcium concentrations at various time lags. In these subjects, PTH was secreted in a dual fashion, with significant basal (tonic) secretion and PTH pulses approximately every 20 min. Pulsatile PTH secretion accounted for approximately 25% of the total secreted PTH. There were no differences in PTH secretory parameters between men and women, nor were there any significant correlations between PTH and ionized calcium concentrations. We conclude that in normal subjects, the predominant mode of PTH secretion is tonic, with superimposed PTH pulses of small amplitude but high frequency. The clinical significance of this complex physiological pattern of secretion awaits further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical