SAN DIEGO—A hormone secreted by the parathyroid gland is both a builder and a destroyer of bone in humans, with important implications for a variety of conditions treated by rheumatologists. In the Oscar Gluck, MD, Memorial Lecture at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting Nov. 3–8, Henry Kronenberg, MD, chief of the Endocrine Division at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, described the complex metabolic processes controlled by the parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Explore this issueMarch 2018
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Catabolic activity breaks down molecules for resorption and anabolic activity builds up or synthesizes complex molecules out of simpler ones. PTH is important in bone remodeling, the ongoing process in which bone tissue is alternately resorbed and rebuilt over time, and it is secreted in response to low blood serum calcium levels.
“We think PTH exists primarily to increase calcium as the main calcium-regulatory peptide in the body,” Dr. Kronenberg said.