The objective of this study is to establish a new rabbit model of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) induced by high-phosphate diet. One hundred twenty rabbits were divided into two groups of 60 each. The treatment group was fed a high-phosphate diet (Ca:P = 1:7) and the control group was given a normal animal diet (Ca:P = 1:0.7) for 1 to 6 mo. Serologic examinations, including parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium and phosphorus levels, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid, and the histologic examination, including parathyroid, kidney, and bones, were performed at the end of each month for 6 mo. Compared with the control, serum PTH levels in the treatment groups were elevated at all six time points, whereas serum calcium levels were reduced, and serum phosphorus levels remain unchanged over the course of the first 3 mo. Serum calcium levels were increased, whereas serum phosphorus levels were reduced at 4, 5, and 6 mo. Parathyroid histopathological examination showed no change during the first month, whereas 60% of the animals exhibited mild hyperplasia starting at 2 mo, and 90% of the animals in the treatment group exhibited mild-to-moderate hyperplasia with gland enlargement starting from 3 mo through the end of the study. Histopathological examination of the kidneys showed no change at 1 mo, but focal parenchymal inflammation with calcium deposition was observed in the treatment groups at 2 to 6 mo. Fibrous tissue of the bone extended toward the cortex, and fibrosis was evident at the third month. The fibrous cells were found to be concentrated mainly on the inner and outer membranes of the bone cortex, and the amount of fibrous tissue increased as the disease progressed. We conclude that a new rabbit animal model of PHPT can be successfully created by the administration of a high-phosphate diet. This animal model can be used in various future studies related to PHPT.
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