Years ago I was told that Microsoft set up a Publisher on one side of the Atlantic and the Distributor/Subscriber at the other.
When they got their first phone bill it was rather high because the only communication you could control was between the distributor and the subscriber.
I have found that occassionaly I have to stop replication (back ups, busy periods etc).
sp_replicationdboption '<<dbname>>','sync with backup' true.
stops the publisher sending any transactions to the distributor unless they have been backed up.
For back up purposes I back up the Distributor, then the publishing database.
Then issue the
sp_replicationdboption '<<dbname>>','sync with backup' false.
to let normal service resume.