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      Chronic Kidney Disease Results in Deficiency of ABCC6, the Novel Inhibitor of Vascular Calcification

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          Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with arterial medial calcification which plays a major role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in this population. Several factors are known to promote soft tissue and accelerated arterial calcification in CKD including systemic inflammation, altered calcium and phosphate homeostasis, hypertension, and deficiency of endogenous calcification inhibitors. The ABCC6 transporter (ATP-binding cassette subfamily C number 6), also known as multidrug resistance-associated protein 6 (MRP6), is highly expressed in the liver and kidney. Mutation of ABCC6 results in pseudoxanthoma elasticum, an inherited disorder characterized by arterial and soft tissue calcification. Given the prevalence of arterial medial calcification in CKD, the present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that CKD may lead to acquired ABCC6 deficiency. Methods: CKD was induced via 5/6 nephrectomy in male Sprague-Dawley rats and by adenine-containing diet to cause chronic interstitial nephropathy in female DBA/2J mice. Sham-operated rats and mice fed regular diet served as controls. Liver and kidney tissues were harvested and processed for ABCC6 protein and mRNA analysis. Results: ABCC6 protein levels were significantly reduced in the liver and kidney tissues from CKD rats and mice. However, ABCC6 mRNA levels were unchanged, pointing to post-transcriptional or post-translational mechanisms for the observed ABCC6 deficiency. Additionally, plasma levels of the calcification inhibitor fetuin-A were significantly decreased in CKD animals compared to controls. Conclusions: CKD results in acquired ABCC6 transporter deficiency. To our knowledge this abnormality has not been previously reported and may contribute to CKD-associated vascular and soft tissue calcification.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Kidney disease as a risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease: a statement from the American Heart Association Councils on Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, High Blood Pressure Research, Clinical Cardiology, and Epidemiology and Prevention.

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            Association of low fetuin-A (AHSG) concentrations in serum with cardiovascular mortality in patients on dialysis: a cross-sectional study.

            Vascular calcification is the most prominent underlying pathological finding in patients with uraemia, and is a predictor of mortality in this population. Fetuin-A (alpha2-Heremans Schmid glycoprotein; AHSG) is an important circulating inhibitor of calcification in vivo, and is downregulated during the acute-phase response. We aimed to investigate the hypothesis that AHSG deficiency is directly related to uraemic vascular calcification. We did a cross-sectional study in 312 stable patients on haemodialysis to analyse the inter-relation of AHSG and C-reactive protein (CRP) and their predictive effect on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, over a period of 32 months. Subsequently, we tested the capacity of serum to inhibit CaxPO4 precipitation in patients on long-term dialysis (n=17) with apparent soft-tissue calcifications, and in those on short-term dialysis (n=8) without evidence of calcifications and cardiovascular disease. AHSG concentrations in serum were significantly lower in patients on haemodialysis (mean 0.66 g/L [SD 0.28]) than in healthy controls (0.72 [0.19]). Low concentrations of the glycoprotein were associated with raised amounts of CRP and with enhanced cardiovascular (p=0.031) and all-cause mortality (p=0.0013). Sera from patients on long-term dialysis with low AHSG concentrations showed impaired ex-vivo capacity to inhibit CaxPO4 precipitation (mean IC50: 9.0 microL serum [SD 3.1] vs 7.5 [0.8] in short-term patients and 6.4 [2.6] in controls). Reconstitution of sera with purified AHSG returned this impairment to normal. Interpretation AHSG deficiency is associated with inflammation and links vascular calcification to mortality in patients on dialysis. Activated acute-phase response and AHSG deficiency might account for accelerated atherosclerosis in uraemia.
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              Dialysis accelerates medial vascular calcification in part by triggering smooth muscle cell apoptosis.

              Vascular calcification is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in stage V chronic kidney disease, yet its early pathogenesis and initiating mechanisms in vivo remain poorly understood. To address this, we quantified the calcium (Ca) load in arteries from children (10 predialysis, 24 dialysis) and correlated it with clinical, biochemical, and vascular measures. Vessel Ca load was significantly elevated in both predialysis and dialysis and was correlated with the patients' mean serum Ca x phosphate product. However, only dialysis patients showed increased carotid intima-media thickness and increased aortic stiffness, and calcification on computed tomography was present in only the 2 patients with the highest Ca loads. Importantly, predialysis vessels appeared histologically intact, whereas dialysis vessels exhibited evidence of extensive vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) loss owing to apoptosis. Dialysis vessels also showed increased alkaline phosphatase activity and Runx2 and osterix expression, indicative of VSMC osteogenic transformation. Deposition of the vesicle membrane marker annexin VI and vesicle component mineralization inhibitors fetuin-A and matrix Gla-protein increased in dialysis vessels and preceded von Kossa positive overt calcification. Electron microscopy showed hydroxyapatite nanocrystals within vesicles released from damaged/dead VSMCs, indicative of their role in initiating calcification. Taken together, this study shows that Ca accumulation begins predialysis, but it is the induction of VSMC apoptosis in dialysis that is the key event in disabling VSMC defense mechanisms and leading to overt calcification, eventually with clinically detectable vascular damage. Thus the identification of factors that lead to VSMC death in dialysis will be of prime importance in preventing vascular calcification.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                August 2014
                02 July 2014
                : 40
                : 1
                : 51-55
                Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Calif., USA
                Author notes
                *N.D. Vaziri, MD, MACP, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Suite 400, City Tower, 333 City Blvd West, Orange, CA 92868 (USA), E-Mail ndvaziri@uci.edu
                365014 Am J Nephrol 2014;40:51-55
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Pages: 5
                Original Report: Laboratory Investigation

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                ABCC6, Chronic kidney disease, Cardiovascular disease


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