Development of a Hypoparathyroid Male Rodent Model for Testing Delayed-Clearance PTH Molecules

Endocrinology. 2022 Feb 1;163(2):bqab239. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqab239.


Context: Parathyroid hormone (PTH) replacement is a promising approach in the management of hypoparathyroidism but long-acting analogues need to be developed. To date, animal models for testing PTH required parathyroidectomy by surgery. We have developed a nonsurgical rodent hypoparathyroid model and tested a delayed-clearance PTH molecule (DC-PTH).

Objective: The aim of this study was to use cinacalcet to suppress calcium levels in normal rats and to reverse these effects with the administration of PTH or PTH analogues.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were gavaged with either 30 mg/kg cinacalcet-HCl (cinacalcet) or vehicle only. Animals were then dosed with either single or repeated subcutaneous doses of PTH 1-34 or a DC-PTH at 20 nmol/kg. Control animals received vehicle only. Serum samples were analyzed for ionized calcium (iCa), phosphate, PTH, and DC-PTH. A pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) model was built for cinacalcet, PTH 1-34, and DC-PTH using Phoenix64.

Results: Cinacalcet reduced iCa levels between 2 and 24 hours, returning to baseline by 72 hours post dose with nadir at 8 hours (analysis of variance P < .001), associated with a fall in rat PTH. For phosphate there was a variable biphasic response. Single-dose PTH abrogated the cinacalcet-induced fall in iCa for up to 2 hours. DC-PTH prevented the fall in iCa from 4 hours post dose and gave a prolonged response, with iCa levels quicker to return to baseline than controls. DC-PTH has a half-life of 11.5 hours, approximately 44 times longer than human PTH 1-34. The PK-PD models defined the reproducible effect of cinacalcet on iCa and that DC-PTH had prolonged biological activity.

Conclusion: The administration of cinacalcet provides a robust and reproducible nonsurgical animal model of hypoparathyroidism. DC-PTH holds promise for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism in the future.

Keywords: PTH; hypoparathyroidism; rodent model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcium / chemistry
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cinacalcet / pharmacology*
  • Cricetulus
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hypoparathyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Glands / physiopathology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / chemistry
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Phosphates / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Treatment Outcome


  • PTH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphates
  • Calcium
  • Cinacalcet