Since the ability of parathyroid hormone (PTH) to increase osteoblast maturation and activity is associated with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) we determined the changes in serum bFGF levels in patients treated with human parathyroid hormone (hPTH) (1-34) for 12 months and 12 months follow up. All studied subjects (n = 51) had postmenopausal osteoporosis, had been receiving long-term treatment with glucocorticoid plus estrogen or estrogen/progesterone and were randomly allocated either to a group receiving hPTH, 400 U/day (n = 28), or to a control group (n = 23). Osteocalcin (OST), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) and bFGF were monitored at the baseline, every 3 months for 18 months, and at 24 months. In the hPTH group, OST increased by more than 150% above baseline at 3 months and was maintained at this level throughout the treatment period. BSAP had increased more than 80% over the baseline level at 3 months and was maintained at 90% above baseline for the next 9 months. bFGF levels had increased by 45% at 3 months, 60% at 6 to 9 months (P < 0.05) and had increased more than 90% from baseline by 12 months (P < 0.05). We found that daily hPTH injections increased bFGF levels. These results support the hypothesis that up-regulation of bFGF could play a role in the osteoblastic response to PTH.
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