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      Intravenous calcitriol therapy in an early stage prevents parathyroid gland growth

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          Background. Both the phenotypic alterations of parathyroid (PT) cells, e.g. down-regulation of the calcium-sensing receptor, and the increase of the PT cell number in nodular hyperplasia are the main causes of refractory secondary hyperparathyroidism. It is of great importance to prevent PT growth in an early stage.

          Methods. To examine a more effective method of calcitriol therapy for the prevention of PT hyperplasia, we randomized haemodialysis patients with mild hyperparathyroidism to receive either daily orally administered calcitriol ( n = 33) or intravenous calcitriol ( n = 27) over a 12-month study period. Calcitriol was modulated so as to keep the serum intact PTH level between 100 and 150 pg/ml.

          Results. Both groups showed similar reductions of the serum PTH level and similar increases in serum calcium. In both groups, there were no significant changes in the serum phosphate level. Long-term daily oral calcitriol therapy failed to prevent the increase of both maximum PT volume and total volume, as assessed by ultrasonography; however, intravenous calcitriol therapy successfully suppressed this progression. In the daily, oral group, both the bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and the N-telopeptide cross-linked of type I collagen (NTX) significantly decreased, which was probably due to the PTH suppression. However, these bone metabolism markers remained stable in the intravenous group. The total dosage of calcitriol during the study was comparable in both groups.

          Conclusions. These data indicate that intravenous calcitriol therapy in an early stage of secondary hyperparathyroidism is necessary to prevent PT growth and to keep a good condition of bone metabolism.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Decreased 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor density is associated with a more severe form of parathyroid hyperplasia in chronic uremic patients.

          The resistance of parathyroid cells to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) in uremic hyperparathyroidism is thought to be caused, in part, by a 1,25(OH)2D3 receptor (VDR) deficiency in the parathyroids. However, results of biochemical studies addressing VDR numbers in the parathyroids are controversial. Several studies have found VDR content to be decreased in the parathyroids of uremic patients and animals, while others have found no such decrease in the parathyroids of uremic animals. To clarify the role of VDR, we investigated VDR distribution in surgically-excised parathyroids obtained from chronic dialysis patients by immunohistochemistry. We classified the parathyroids as exhibiting nodular or diffuse hyperplasia. Our studies demonstrated a lower density of VDR in the parathyroids showing nodular hyperplasia than in those showing diffuse hyperplasia. Even in the parathyroids showing diffuse hyperplasia, nodule-forming areas were present; these areas were virtually negative for VDR staining. A significant negative correlation was found between VDR density and the weight of the parathyroids. These findings indicate that the conflicting results of biochemical studies may be caused by the heterogeneous distribution of VDR; the decreased VDR density in parathyroids may contribute to the progression of secondary hyperparathyroidism and to the proliferation of parathyroid cells that is seen in uremia.
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            Human calcium-sensing receptor gene. Vitamin D response elements in promoters P1 and P2 confer transcriptional responsiveness to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

            The calcium-sensing receptor (CASR), expressed in parathyroid chief cells, thyroid C-cells, and cells of the kidney tubule, is essential for maintenance of calcium homeostasis. Here we show parathyroid, thyroid, and kidney CASR mRNA levels increased 2-fold at 15 h after intraperitoneal injection of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) in rats. Human thyroid C-cell (TT) and kidney proximal tubule cell (HKC) CASR gene transcription increased approximately 2-fold at 8 and 12 h after 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment. The human CASR gene has two promoters yielding alternative transcripts containing either exon 1A or exon 1B 5'-untranslated region sequences that splice to exon 2 some 242 bp before the ATG translation start site. Transcriptional start sites were identified in parathyroid gland and TT cells; that for promoter P1 lies 27 bp downstream of a TATA box, whereas that for promoter P2, which lacks a TATA box, lies in a GC-rich region. In HKC cells, transcriptional activity of a P1 reporter gene construct was 11-fold and of P2 was 33-fold above basal levels. 10(-8) m 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulated P1 activity 2-fold and P2 activity 2.5-fold. Vitamin D response elements (VDREs), in which half-sites (6 bp) are separated by three nucleotides, were identified in both promoters and shown to confer 1,25(OH)2D3 responsiveness to a heterologous promoter. This responsiveness was lost when the VDREs were mutated. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays with either in vitro transcribed/translated vitamin D receptor and retinoid X receptor-alpha, or HKC nuclear extract, specific protein-DNA complexes were formed in the presence of 1,25(OH)2D3 on oligonucleotides representing the P1 and P2 VDREs. In summary, functional VDREs have been identified in the CASR gene and provide the mechanism whereby 1,25(OH)2D up-regulates parathyroid, thyroid C-cell, and kidney CASR expression.
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              Depressed expression of calcium receptor in parathyroid gland tissue of patients with hyperparathyroidism.

              The factors involved in abnormal parathyroid cell secretory function and growth in patients with primary (I degree) and secondary (II degree) hyperparathyroidism are still incompletely understood. We compared the expression of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) at the gene message and the protein level in parathyroid tissue obtained from patients with I degree non-uremic or II degree uremic hyperparathyroidism with that in normal parathyroid tissue, using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry techniques. The expression of the CaR mRNA and protein was reduced in most cases of I degree adenoma and II degree hyperplasia, compared with strong expression normal parathyroid tissue. In II degree hyperparathyroidism, expression of both receptor mRNA message and protein was often particularly depressed in nodular areas, compared with adjacent non-nodular hyperplasia. Decreased Ca-R expression in adenomatous and hyperplastic parathyroid glands would be compatible with a less efficient control of PTH synthesis and secretion by plasma calcium than in normal parathyroid tissue.

                Author and article information

                Nephrol Dial Transplant
                Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
                Oxford University Press
                November 2008
                30 May 2008
                30 May 2008
                : 23
                : 11
                : 3662-3669
                [1 ]Department of Medicine and Clinical Science
                [2 ]Department of Integrated Therapy for Chronic Kidney Disease, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University
                [3 ]Department of Nephrology, Fukuoka Red Cross Hospital , Fukuoka, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence and offprint requests to: Masatomo Taniguchi, Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. Tel: +81-92-642-5843; Fax: +81-92-642-5846; E-mail: masatomo@ 123456kcu.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp
                © The Author [2008].

                The online version of this article has been published under an open access model. Users are entitled to use, reproduce, disseminate, or display the open access version of this article for non-commercial purposes provided that: the original authorship is properly and fully attributed; the Journal and Oxford University Press are attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details given; if an article is subsequently reproduced or disseminated not in its entirety but only in part or as a derivative work this must be clearly indicated. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org



                growth, phosphate, calcitriol, calcium, parathyroid


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