PTH and the Regulation of Mesenchymal Cells within the Bone Marrow Niche

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MaineHealth Institute for Research, Center for Molecular Medicine

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MeSH Headings

Humans; Bone and Bones (metabolism); Bone Marrow (metabolism); Bone Resorption (metabolism); Osteoblasts (metabolism); Parathyroid Hormone (metabolism)


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) plays a pivotal role in maintaining calcium homeostasis, largely by modulating bone remodeling processes. Its effects on bone are notably dependent on the duration and frequency of exposure. Specifically, PTH can initiate both bone formation and resorption, with the outcome being influenced by the manner of PTH administration: continuous or intermittent. In continuous administration, PTH tends to promote bone resorption, possibly by regulating certain genes within bone cells. Conversely, intermittent exposure generally favors bone formation, possibly through transient gene activation. PTH's role extends to various aspects of bone cell activity. It directly influences skeletal stem cells, osteoblastic lineage cells, osteocytes, and T cells, playing a critical role in bone generation. Simultaneously, it indirectly affects osteoclast precursor cells and osteoclasts, and has a direct impact on T cells, contributing to its role in bone resorption. Despite these insights, the intricate mechanisms through which PTH acts within the bone marrow niche are not entirely understood. This article reviews the dual roles of PTH-catabolic and anabolic-on bone cells, highlighting the cellular and molecular pathways involved in these processes. The complex interplay of these factors in bone remodeling underscores the need for further investigation to fully comprehend PTH's multifaceted influence on bone health.