A role for parathyroid hormone-related protein in the pathogenesis of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases

Int Immunopharmacol. 2001 Jun;1(6):1101-21. doi: 10.1016/s1567-5769(01)00040-6.


Our increased understanding of the critical role of cytokines in chronic inflammatory/autoimmune diseases has led to the recent development of effective anti-cytokine treatments. In particular, agents blocking the function of TNF-alpha, a cytokine first identified as an endotoxin-inducible mediator of tumor cell necrosis, are now licensed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease. However, TNF-alpha is but one member of a cytokine network that is responsible for mediating these inflammatory disorders. Therefore, as our understanding of the pathophysiologic role of other members of this inflammatory network increases, other cytokines may similarly be identified as effective targets for treatment. In this article, we will review evidence which suggests that parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), a peptide which, like TNF-alpha, was first identified because of its effects in the setting of malignancy, may in fact serve an important non-neoplastic, physiologic function by mediating the inflammatory/autoimmune host response. Data identifying PTHrP as a member of the cytokine network induced in multi-organ inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis will be summarized, initial evidence comparing the therapeutic efficacy of PTHrP- vs. TNF-alpha-blockade in the treatment of endotoxemia will be reviewed, and potential future areas of research, including assessment of the effects of PTHrP blockade in the treatment of RA, will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins / immunology
  • Proteins / physiology*


  • PTHLH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Proteins