21 December 2006
Background: Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is an endothelial-derived vasoactive peptide. This study investigated whether bioactive PTHrP is locally released in a pressure-dependent way. Methods: A PTHrP antibody directed against the midregional part of PTHrP was used to analyze PTHrP in plasma samples. The biological activity of this PTHrP-like peptide was investigated in vitro. Plasma values were determined in samples from the left pulmonary artery and the arteria femoralis, taken under basal conditions and after the application of oxygen or iloprost to lower the pulmonary pressure. Twenty young patients (mean age 6.5 years), who were catheterized for an analysis of the reactivity of the pulmonary bed, were investigated. Endothelial function was investigated by acetylcholine responsiveness. Results: The antibody recognized a 30-kDa protein with in vitro PTHrP-like activity. In 11 patients (responders) with intact endothelial function, the PTHrP values determined in the left pulmonary artery were higher than those in the arteria femoralis. The local increase in the PTHrP concentration was reduced when either oxygen or iloprost lowered the pressure. Nine patients with endothelial dysfunction did not show any concentration gradients at any time (nonresponders). Conclusions: The local concentration of bioactive PTHrP is increased in patients with pulmonary hypertension and normal endothelial function.