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      Cellular Component of Vascular Calcification

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          It has been reported that calcium deposition and calcium content in cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) increased when the cells are incubated in a medium with a high phosphate concentration (2 m M). To determine the cellular components or soluble factors contributing to the deposition, we cultured commercially available SMC, fibroblasts (Fb) and endothelial cells (Ed). These cells and their mixtures were incubated for 10 days in normal or high-phosphate media. Calcium crystals were stained by the von-Kossa staining and counted in the defined area. Calcium content was measured by a colorimetric assay. SMC were incubated in high-phosphate media (up to 2 m M) or β-glycerophosphate (β-GP) media, resulting in no obvious deposition of calcium crystals, irrespective of the coating of type I collagen on the dish. Next, various combinations of cells were cultured, and a significant number of depositions were observed only when Fb were included in the combination. The calcium content was significantly higher in cultures of SMC and Fb. The calcium deposition on single or mixture of the cells did not increase compared with control when cells were incubated in a high concentration of phosphate, cultured in the existence of β-GP or uremic serum. We therefore conclude that Fb, rather than SMC or Ed, are essential for calcium deposition and calcium accumulation in culture. Phosphate concentration in the medium and uremic serum did not influence the deposition of calcium.

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          Recent advances in multifactorial regulation of vascular calcification.

          Calcification presents important clinical implications in cardiovascular diseases, especially in coronary arteries. Epidemiological evidence has shown the coexistence of vascular calcification with both atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, and increasing evidence has shown the role of hyperlipidemia and atherogenic phospholipids in vascular calcification. The etiology of vascular calcification is also increasingly recognized as an active process. Vascular calcification initiates with matrix vesicle formation and mineralization following a process similar to that in bone. In addition, many bone regulatory factors have been shown to be present in calcified atherosclerotic lesions. In this review, we focus on the new developments emerging during the past year in regulation of vascular calcification. Regulatory factors include matrix GLA protein, the phosphate cotransporter Pit-1, a calcium-sensing receptor related factor, osteoprotegerin, leptin, bisphosphonates and oxidized lipids. Some of these, including oxidized lipids, osteoprotegerin, and bisphosphonates, appear to regulate mineralization in both bone and vasculature and may account for the co-existence of osteoporosis and atherosclerotic calcification that is independent of age.
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            Biological activities of oxysterols

             L. Smith (1989)
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              Stable transfection of nonosteogenic cell lines with tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase enhances mineral deposition both in the presence and absence of beta-glycerophosphate: possible role for alkaline phosphatase in pathological mineralization.

               M. Hui,  S. Li,  D Holmyard (1997)
              It is documented that alkaline phosphatase (AP) plays an important role in bone mineralization. Considering that TN-AP is expressed in periodontal ligament fibroblasts, renal epithelial cells, and vascular endothelial cells, and that TN-AP is both a calcium-/phosphate-binding protein and a phosphohydrolytic enzyme, we hypothesize that membrane-bound AP also plays an important role in the initiation of physiological and pathological mineralizations in tissues other than bone and cartilage. To test this hypothesis, nonosteoblast cell lines, including a fibroblast line, a renal epithelial line, and a capillary endothelial line, were stably transfected to express high levels of rat bone AP on their cell surfaces. These rat bone AP-expressing cells were then cultured on filter membranes in the presence or absence of beta-glycerol phosphate. von Kossa staining for calcium phosphate and transmission electron microscopy with electron diffraction analysis for minerals were employed to investigate the effect of membrane AP on extracellular calcium phosphate mineralization. Our results indicated that AP expression on these nonosteoblast-like cell surfaces have induced extracellular hydroxyapatite (HAP) mineralization. Our findings support the concept that membrane-bound AP contributes to extracellular apatitic mineralization by mechanisms that do not necessarily involve its hydrolase activity. They also suggest that AP might be important for the initiation of pathological mineralization in nonosteogenic tissues.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2002
                18 October 2002
                : 92
                : 4
                : 840-845
                Departments of aNephrology and bPharmacology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan
                65461 Nephron 2002;92:840–845
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 4, References: 23, Pages: 6
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