Acid infusion studies were performed in nephrectomized rats and dogs with either intact parathyroid glands (intact) or after thyroparathyroidectomy (thyroparathyroidectomized [TPTX]) to determine the role of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in extrarenal disposal and buffering of acutely administered acid. 29 intact rats given 5 mM/kg HCl and 6 intact dogs given 7 mM/kg HCl developed severe metabolic acidosis but all survived. However, each of 12 TPTX rats and 4 TPTX dogs given the same acid loads died. Intact rats and dogs buffered 39 and 50% of administered acid extracellularly, respectively, whereas extracellular buffering of administered acid was 97 and 78% in TPTX rats and dogs, respectively. 17 TPTX rats and 6 TPTX dogs given synthetic PTH 2 h before acid infusion survived. The blood bicarbonate and extracellular buffering in these animals, measured 2 h after acid infusion, was similar to intact animals. Changes in liver, heart, and skeletal muscle pH determined from [14C]5,5-dimethyl-2,4 oxazolidinedione distribution seemed insufficient to account for the increased cell buffering of PTH-replaced animals. Indeed, muscle pH in TPTX dogs given PTH and acid was only 0.06 pH units lower than in control dogs given no acid, suggesting that another tissue, presumably bone, was the target for PTH-mediated increased cell buffering. This conclusion was supported by the observation that PTH did not alter the pH of intact rat diaphragms in vitro. These results indicate that PTH is necessary for the optimal buffering of large, acute acid loads presumably by increasing bone buffering.
Donald S. Fraley, Sheldon Adler