Differentiation of PTH-Expressing Cells From Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Endocrinology. 2020 Oct 1;161(10):bqaa141. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqaa141.


Differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into functional parathyroid-like cells would accelerate development of important therapeutic options for subjects with parathyroid-related disorders, from the design and screening of novel pharmaceutical agents to the development of durable cellular therapies. We have established a highly reproducible directed differentiation approach leading to PTH-expressing cells from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. We accomplished this through the comparison of multiple different basal media, the inclusion of the CDK inhibitor PD0332991 in both definitive endoderm and anterior foregut endoderm stages, and a 2-stage pharyngeal endoderm series. This is the first protocol to reproducibly establish PTH-expressing cells from human pluripotent stem cells and represents a first step toward the development of functional parathyroid cells with broad applicability for medicinal and scientific investigation.

Keywords: calcium; development; hypoparathyroidism; regenerative medicine; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Endoderm / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Organogenesis / genetics
  • Parathyroid Glands / cytology
  • Parathyroid Glands / embryology*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / genetics*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*


  • PTH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone