Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) induction in reactive astrocytes following brain injury: A possible mediator of CNS inflammation

Janet L. Funk, Colin R. Trout, Hongbing Wei, Gregory Stafford, Seymour Reichlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PTHrP, a peptide induced in parenchymal organs during endotoxemia and in the synovium in rheumatoid arthritis, has recently been shown to be expressed in immature or transformed human astrocytes, but not in normal cells. This finding has led us to postulate that PTHrP might also be induced in reactive astrocytes in inflamed brain and, thus, act as a mediator of CNS inflammation. To test this hypothesis, PTHrP expression was examined following cortical stab wound injury in rats, a classical model of reactive gliosis. To determine whether PTHrP was induced in glia by TNF-α, a known mediator of inflammation in brain and of PTHrP induction in peripheral tissues, and to determine whether PTHrP, in turn, mediated inflammatory changes in glia, in vitro studies with rat astrocytes and glial-enriched mixed brain cells were also undertaken. Consistent with previous reports of PTHrP expression in normal brain, neurons were the primary site of immunoreactive PTHrP expression in the injured cortex 1 day after stab wound injury. Over the subsequent 3 days, specific immunostaining for PTHrP and for GFAP, a marker of reactive astrocytes, appeared in reactive astrocytes at the wound edge and in perivascular astrocytes, reaching a maximum level of expression at the last time point examined (day 4). TNF-α induced PTHrP expression in astrocyte and glial-enriched brain cells in vitro, suggesting that this pro-inflammatory peptide was a possible mediator of PTHrP expression in CNS inflammation. PTHrP(1-34) acted in an additive fashion with TNF-α to induced astrocyte expression of IL-6, a cytokine with demonstrated neuroprotective effects. Astrocyte proliferation was inhibited by PTHrP(1-34) and PTHrP(1-141), acting via a PTH/PTHrP receptor cAMP signaling pathway. These studies suggest that PTHrP, analogous to its regulatory functions in other non-CNS models of inflammation, may be an important mediator of the inflammatory response in brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 12 2001


  • Astrocyte
  • Brain
  • PTHrP
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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