Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Parathyroid Hormone

Polypeptide hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands. It promotes release of calcium from bone to extracellular fluid by activating osteoclasts and inhibiting osteoblasts, indirectly promotes increased intestinal absorption of calcium, promotes renal tubular resorption of calcium and increased renal excretion of phosphates, and is a major regulator of bone metabolism. Secretion of parathyroid hormone increases when the level of calcium in the extracellular fluid is low.

Cf. calcitonin.

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