The metabolism of bovine parathyroid hormone (PTH) by the perfused rat liver was studied. Labeled hormone, with or without cold hormone, was infused into the circulating perfusion medium containing various calcium concentrations. Pefusate samples at various time periods after the introduction of PTH into the system were chromatographed on Bio-gel P-10; radioactivity and/or immunoreactivity were measured in eluted fractions. Before the perfusion, all immuno- and radioactivity eluted in a single peak, with an apparent mol wt of 9,500 (peak I). After perfusion for 15 min, two other peaks with approximate mol wt of 7,000 (peak II) and 3,500 (peak III) were discernible. Peak I contained both NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal immunoreactivity and was biologically active at all time periods tested. The relative contribution of NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal immunoreactivity to the total immunoreactivity remained constant in this peak throughout the perfusion. In every respect, peak I had the characteristics of intact hormone. At all times, peak II consisted of only COOH-terminal immunoreactivity and was biologically inactive. At early time periods, peak III contained predominantly NH2-terminal immunoreactivity and was biologically active. With time, the relative contribution of NH2-terminal immunoreactivity decreased strikingly while that of COOH-terminal immunoreactivity increased. The three peaks identified in these experiments were analogous in size, biological activity, and immunological characteristics to those we have previously described for fractionated human hyperparathyroid serum. The rate of metabolism of PTH appeared to be regulated by the calcium concentration in the medium. At a high concentration of calcium (greater than 11 mg/100 ml), PTH metabolism was greatly retarded. At a low concentration of calcium (smaller than 5 mg/100 ml), the rate of metabolism was greatly increased. The physiological significance of our observations on the metabolism of PTH by isolated perfused rat liver is not known. However, since such metabolism results in a biologically active fragment, it is suggested that metabolism of intact hormone may be required before full biological expression is possible.
J M Canterbury, L A Bricker, G S Levey, P L Kozlovskis, E Ruiz, J E Zull, E Reiss