Parathyroid hormone-related protein is expressed by transformed and fetal human astrocytes and inhibits cell proliferation

Pragyna P. Shankar, Hongbing Wei, Stephen M. Davee, Janet L. Funk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and the PTH/PTHrP receptor are expressed in most normal tissues, including brain, where PTHrP is though to act locally in an autocrine or paracrine fashion. Previous in situ localization studies in adult rodents have documented CNS PTHrP expression in neurons but not in glial cells. However, a recent report describing immunoreactive PTHrP in human astrocytomas suggests that PTHrP expression may be a marker of dedifferentiation and/or malignant transformation in glial cells. To begin to test this hypothesis, constitutive and regulated PTHrP expression were examined in cultured fetal and transformed (U-373 MG) human astrocytes. PTHrP was expressed in untreated fetal astrocytes and U-373 MG cells, as determined by Northern analysis, immunocytochemical staining, and detection of PTHrP(1-84) protein in conditioned media. Epidermal growth factor and tumor necrosis factor, important growth factors in astrocyte development and malignant transformation, stimulated PTHrP expression in both cell types. Treatment of U-373 MG cells or fetal astrocytes with PTHrP(1-34) consistently inhibited cellular proliferation, as measured by [3H]-thymidine incorporation. These findings suggest that PTHrP, a peptide whose expression is induced by mitogens in both immature and transformed human astrocytes, may feedback inhibit cellular proliferation, an effect that may be of importance during malignant transformation as well as CNS development. Furthermore, when combined with previous evidence of PTHrP expression by PTH/PTHrP receptor- positive neurons, our demonstration of regulated PTHrP expression by receptor-positive astrocytes identifies PTHrP as a potential peptide mediator of cross-talk between glial cells and neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-240
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 23 2000


  • Astrocyte
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Parathyroid hormone-related protein
  • Proliferation
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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