Parathyroid hormone-related protein in preterm human milk

Ronit Lubetzky, Yosef Weisman, Shaul Dollberg, Lea Herman, Dror Mandel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has the ability to activate parathyroid hormone receptors and cause hypercalcemia. High concentrations of PTHrP are found in human breastmilk of mothers of term-infants. It is not known whether PTHrP is excreted in preterm human milk. This study tested the hypothesis that PTHrP concentrations in milk obtained from mothers of preterm infants are similar to those found in milk from mothers of term infants. Methods: We collected samples of expressed human milk obtained from 27 mothers of preterm infants (27-34 weeks' gestation) and from 16 mothers of full-term infants. Samples were collected within the first 72 hours postpartum (colostrum) and again at 1 and 2 weeks postpartum. PTHrP concentrations in these samples were measured by two-site immunoradiometric assay. Results: PTHrP concentrations were significantly higher in samples obtained after 1 week postpartum than in samples obtained during the first 72 hours of life in breastmilk obtained from mothers of both term and preterm infants (P<0.0001). PTHrP concentrations were similar in colostrum and after 1 week in term and preterm milk. PTHrP concentrations after 2 weeks of lactation were significantly higher in samples obtained from mothers of term infants (P<0.006). Conclusion: Human milk expressed by mothers of preterm infants contains amounts of PTHrP similar to those measured in milk expressed by mothers of term infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-69
Number of pages3
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


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