Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTH-related protein (PTHrP) produce similar biological effects through the PTH/PTHrP receptor. Less is known about the physiological role of PTHrP which was first identified as the agent of the humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy. Despite the widespread production of PTHrP in healthy individuals, the concentration of the protein is below the detectable limit of current assays, suggesting that PTHrP normally functions locally in an autocrine or paracrine manner. Thus, some differences in their biological activities have been described, and they may be related to the presence of different receptors. In this regard, a second receptor which binds selectively to PTH has also been found. Recent studies have demonstrated the expression of both PTH/PTHrP receptor and protein in the renal glomeruli. Moreover, there are convincing data that support a direct role of PTH and PTHrP in modulating renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate. This multifunctional protein, PTHrP, also has a proliferative effect on mesangial cells, supporting the notion that it may play a role in the normal glomerulus and in injured kidney.