Dispersed cells prepared from human parathyroid glands: Distinct calcium sensitivity of adenomas vs. primary hyperplasia

Edward M. Brown, Murray F. Brennan, Shmuel Hurwitz, Rainer Windeck, Stephen J. Marx, Allen M. Spiegel, Jan O. Koehler, David G. Gardner, G. D. Aurbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Dispersed parathyroid cells were prepared by digestion with collagenase and DNase of parathyroid glands of patients with adenoma or primary hyperplasia. Yields of 50-100 million cells/g of tissue were obtained and the cells were viable by morphologic (95-100% trypan blue exclusion) and functional criteria [linear release of parathyroid hormone (PTH) responsive to ambient calcium concentration]. Cells prepared from 7 of 9 hyperplastic and 8 of 12 adenomatous glands were suppressible 50% (52-90%) or more by calcium. Cells from hyperplastic glands, however, were suppressed by significantly lower concentrations of calcium than those from adenomas and resembled normal bovine parathyroid cells in this respect. This results suggested that a "set-point" error in calcium-regulated PTH release might contribute to the pathophysiology of parathyroid adenomas. Cells from 2 of 9 hyperplastic and 4 of 12 adenomatous glands, on the other hand, were suppressible less than 50% (0-48%) by high calcium concentrations, indicating that some abnormal parathyroid glands may function in a truly autonomous fashion. Preliminary immunologic studies showed that incubation media from dispersed cells reacted with either Nor C-terminal-directed antisera and in parallel with bPTH (1-84). In addition, elevated calcium concentrations suppressed immunoreactive PTH release from a preparation of dispersed cells similarly, whether measured by the N-or C-specific assay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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