Development of Surgically Transplantable Parathyroid Hormone-Releasing Microbeads

Ha Yeong Kim, Ji Min Seok, Soo Yeon Jung, Min Ji Lee, An Nguyen Thuy Tran, Seon Ju Yeo, Su A. Park, Han Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypoparathyroidism is an endocrine disorder that occurs because of the inability to produce parathyroid hormone (PTH) effectively. Previously, we reported the efficacy of tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells (TMSCs) differentiated into parathyroid-like cells for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism. Here, we investigated the feasibility of three-dimensional structural microbeads fabricated with TMSCs and alginate, a natural biodegradable polymer, to treat hypoparathyroidism. Alginate microbeads were fabricated by dropping a 2% (w/v) alginate solution containing TMSCs into a 5% CaCl2 solution and then differentiated into parathyroid-like cells using activin A and sonic hedgehog for 7 days. The protein expression of PTH, a specific marker of the parathyroid gland, was significantly higher in differentiated alginate microbeads with TMSCs (Al-dT) compared with in undifferentiated alginate microbeads with TMSCs. For in vivo experiments, we created the hypoparathyroidism animal model by parathyroidectomy (PTX) and implanted alginate microbeads in the dorsal interscapular region. The PTX rats with Al-dT (PTX+Al-dT) showed the highest survival rate and weight change and a gradual increase in serum intact PTH levels. We also detected a higher expression of PTH in retrieved tissues of PTX+Al-dT using immunofluorescence analysis. This study demonstrates that alginate microbeads are potential a new tool as a surgically scalable therapy for treating hypoparathyroidism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number440
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2018R1D1A1A09083264, NRF-2020R1C1C1011612, and NRF-2021R1A6A3A01086945) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alginate
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Microbeads
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells


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