Calcitonin, a calcium-lowering hormone, has been associated with an increased incidence of nonfunctioning pituitary tumors in rats. In this study, rats were treated with calcitonin (80 IU/kg/d) for 52 weeks. After treatment with calcitonin, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that most pituitary tumors expressed the glycoprotein hormone α-subunit. Expression of the α-subunit was identified rarely in hyperplastic lesions of control animals. Serum levels of GH, PRL, ACTH, LH, and FSH were unchanged in calcitonin-treated rats relative to controls. However, TSH levels were increased 2.1 fold after chronic treatment with calcitonin in both male and female rats (P < 0.001). The level of glycoprotein hormone α-subunit was markedly increased (20-fold) in male rats with smaller elevations in female rats. Time course studies demonstrated that increases in serum α-subunit levels could be detected by 24 weeks of treatment and that elevations in α-subunit were present in the majority of animals by 40 weeks of treatment with calcitonin. The authors conclude that high doses of calcitonin, administered to rats for 6 months or longer, increases the incidence of α-subunit-producing pituitary tumors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Journal of Pathology|
|State||Published - 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine