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Keywords:

  • osteoporosis;
  • parathyroid hormone-related protein;
  • parathyroid hormone

Abstract

Daily administration of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTH-related protein (PTHrP) peptides has been shown to increase bone mass and strength in animals and, for PTH, to increase bone mass in humans. Long-term direct comparison of multiple members of the PTH/PTHrP family in vivo has not been reported. We therefore selected three PTH/PTHrP molecules for direct comparison in vivo in an adult rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis: PTH(1-34), PTHrP(1-36), and the PTH analog, SDZ-PTH 893 {Leu8, Asp10, Lys11, Ala16, Gln18, Thr33, Ala34 human PTH 1–34 [hPTH(1-34)]}. A 6-month study was performed in which adult (6-month-old) vehicle-treated ovariectomized (OVX) and sham OVX rats were compared with OVX rats receiving 40 μg/kg per day of either PTH(1-34), PTHrP(1-36), or PTH-SDZ-893. Bone mass, as assessed by ash weight and densitometry, bone histomorphometry, biomechanical properties at trabecular and cortical sites, and indices of bone formation markedly increased in all three PTH/PTHrP peptide-treated groups as compared with controls. In general, this improvement followed a rank order of SDZ-PTH-893 > PTH > PTHrP. The adverse effect profile also was greatest with SDZ-PTH-893; these rats developed moderate hypercalcemia, marked renal calcium accumulation, and displayed a 13% mortality. These studies show that PTH(1-34), PTHrP(1-36), and PTH-SDZ-893 significantly and progressively increase bone mass and bone strength in this rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The adverse effect profile correlates in general terms with efficacy. All three peptides show promise as skeletal anabolic agents. Further studies in humans will be required to define optimal efficacy-to-adverse effect ratios and relative efficacy for each peptide in human osteoporosis.