Calcemic response to parathyroid hormone in renal failure: role of phosphorus and its effect on calcitriol

Kidney Int. 1991 Dec;40(6):1055-62. doi: 10.1038/ki.1991.314.


The calcemic response to parathyroid hormone (PTH) is decreased in renal failure. The reduction of hyperphosphatemia improves the calcemic response to PTH in animals with advanced renal failure. However, since low calcitriol levels in renal failure may also contribute to the decreased calcemic response to PTH, the improved calcemic response observed during the reduction of serum phosphorus may be partially mediated by an increase in serum calcitriol levels. The present study evaluated the calcemic response to PTH in rats with moderate and advanced renal failure and how this response was modified by a high and a low phosphorus diet. In addition, the effect of a change in dietary phosphorus on calcitriol levels was also evaluated. A 48-hour continuous infusion of 1-34 rat PTH increased the serum calcium level to 18.2 +/- 0.4 mg/dl in normal rats, versus 13.7 +/- 0.9 and 12.1 +/- 0.2 mg/dl in rats with moderate and advanced renal failure, respectively. During the PTH infusion, a high phosphorus diet increased the serum phosphorus and resulted in a reduced calcemic response to PTH at each level of renal function; respective serum calcium levels were 13.8 +/- 0.6 mg/dl in normals, 11.2 +/- 0.2 mg/dl in moderate renal failure and 9.6 +/- 0.5 mg/dl in advanced renal failure. In normal rats and in rats with moderate renal failure, dietary phosphorus restriction during the PTH infusion increased serum calcitriol levels. In rats with advanced renal failure, serum calcitriol levels were lower than in the other two groups and were not affected by changes in dietary phosphorus.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcitriol / blood
  • Calcium / blood*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / etiology
  • Hypocalcemia / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Glands / physiology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphorus, Dietary
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium