Figure 3. Comparison of the effects of acute estrogen deficiency vs. lactation on calcium and bone metabolism. Acute estrogen deficiency (e.g. GnRH analog therapy) increases skeletal resorption and raises the blood calcium; in turn, PTH is suppressed and renal calcium losses are increased. During lactation, the combined effects of PTHrP (secreted by the breast) and estrogen deficiency increase skeletal resorption, reduce renal calcium losses, and raise the blood calcium, but calcium is directed into breast milk. Reprinted from ref. (1), © 1997, The Endocrine Society.