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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2010, Article ID 418695, 10 pages
Review Article

Effects of Parathyroid Hormone on Immune Function

1Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, 475 Seaview Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305, USA
2NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, 1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314, USA
3Division of Nephrology, Staten Island University Hospital, 475 Seaview Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305, USA

Received 13 March 2010; Accepted 15 June 2010

Academic Editor: Stuart Berzins

Copyright © 2010 Abdallah Sassine Geara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) function as immunologic mediator has become interesting with the recent usage of PTH analogue (teriparatide) in the management of osteoporosis. Since the early 1980s, PTH receptors were found on most immunologic cells (neutrophils, B and T cells). The in vitro evaluations for a possible role of PTH as immunomodulator have shown inconsistent results mainly due to methodological heterogeneity of these studies: it used different PTH formulations (rat, bovine, and human), at different dosages and different incubating periods. In some of these studies, the lymphocytes were collected from uremic patients or animals, which renders the interpretation of the results problematic due to the effect of uremic toxins. Parathyroidectomy has been found to reverse the immunologic defect in patients with high PTH levels. Nonetheless, the clinical significance of these findings is unclear. Further studies are needed to define if PTH does have immunomodulatory effects.