The C-terminal region of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) containing the sequence (107-111) appears to be a potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of human (h)PTHrP (107-139) and hPTHrP (107-111)NH2 on the proliferation of osteoblastic rat osteosarcoma UMR 106 cells. We found that both C-terminal PTHrP peptides, like hPTHrP (1-141), were antimitogenic for these cells, between 1 pM and 10 nM. [Tyr34]hPTHrP (1-34)NH2 was as potent as these peptides but less effective as growth inhibitor in these cells. UMR 106 cells were found to produce and secrete immunoreactive PTHrP. Addition of anti-PTHrP neutralizing antibodies to C- and N-terminal epitopes of PTHrP increased the growth of these cells. Our data suggest that the antiproliferative effect of these C-terminal PTHrP analogs may be independent of cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate (cAMP) and mediated by protein kinase C. These findings support an autocrine role of PTHrP in bone metabolism.