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      The interplay between mineral metabolism, vascular calcification and inflammation in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): challenging old concepts with new facts

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          Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most powerful predictors of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD), with heightened susceptibility to vascular intimal and medial calcification associated with a high cardiovascular mortality. Abnormal mineral metabolism of calcium (Ca) and phosphate (P) and underlying (dys)regulated hormonal control in CKD-mineral and bone disorder (MBD) is often accompanied by bone loss and increased vascular calcification (VC). While VC is known to be a multifactorial process and a major risk factor for CVD, the view of primary triggers and molecular mechanisms complexity has been shifting with novel scientific knowledge over the last years. In this review we highlight the importance of calcium-phosphate (CaP) mineral crystals in VC with an integrated view over the complexity of CKD, while discuss past and recent literature aiming to highlight novel horizons on this major health burden. Exacerbated VC in CKD patients might result from several interconnected mechanisms involving abnormal mineral metabolism, dysregulation of endogenous calcification inhibitors and inflammatory pathways, which function in a feedback loop driving disease progression and cardiovascular outcomes. We propose that novel approaches targeting simultaneously VC and inflammation might represent valuable new prognostic tools and targets for therapeutics and management of cardiovascular risk in the CKD population.

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          Coronary-artery calcification in young adults with end-stage renal disease who are undergoing dialysis.

          Cardiovascular disease is common in older adults with end-stage renal disease who are undergoing regular dialysis, but little is known about the prevalence and extent of cardiovascular disease in children and young adults with end-stage renal disease. We used electron-beam computed tomography (CT) to screen for coronary-artery calcification in 39 young patients with end-stage renal disease who were undergoing dialysis (mean [+/-SD] age, 19+/-7 years; range, 7 to 30) and 60 normal subjects 20 to 30 years of age. In those with evidence of calcification on CT scanning, we determined its extent. The results were correlated with the patients' clinical characteristics, serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations, and other biochemical variables. None of the 23 patients who were younger than 20 years of age had evidence of coronary-artery calcification, but it was present in 14 of the 16 patients who were 20 to 30 years old. Among those with calcification, the mean calcification score was 1157+/-1996, and the median score was 297. By contrast, only 3 of the 60 normal subjects had calcification. As compared with the patients without coronary-artery calcification, those with calcification were older (26+/-3 vs. 15+/-5 years, P<0.001) and had been undergoing dialysis for a longer period (14+/-5 vs. 4+/-4 years, P< 0.001). The mean serum phosphorus concentration, the mean calcium-phosphorus ion product in serum, and the daily intake of calcium were higher among the patients with coronary-artery calcification. Among 10 patients with calcification who underwent follow-up CT scanning, the calcification score nearly doubled (from 125+/-104 to 249+/-216, P=0.02) over a mean period of 20+/-3 months. Coronary-artery calcification is common and progressive in young adults with end-stage renal disease who are undergoing dialysis.
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            Arterial media calcification in end-stage renal disease: impact on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

             G. M. London (2003)
            Cross-sectional and follow-up studies on end-stage renal disease patients showed that arterial calcifications are associated with cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and are an independent predictor of all-cause and CV mortality. However, these studies did not examine the impact on prognosis according to the type of calcification, i.e. intimal vs medial. Arterial media calcification (AMC), a non-occlusive condition, affects haemodynamics differently from arterial intima calcification (AIC), which occurs in atherosclerotic plaques. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of AMC in relationship to all-cause or CV mortality for stable haemodialysis (HD) patients. We included 202 such patients in the present study. At baseline, soft-tissue native radiograms of the pelvis and the thigh were analysed for the presence and type (AMC vs AIC) of arterial calcifications. All patients underwent B-mode ultrasonography of the common carotid artery to determine the presence of atherosclerotic calcified plaques, measurement of aortic pulse wave velocity and echocardiography. AIC was usually observed in older patients with a clinical history of atherosclerosis before starting HD treatment and typical risk factors associated with atherosclerotic disease. AMC was observed in young and middle-aged patients without conventional atherosclerotic risk factors. AMC was closely associated with the duration of HD and calcium-phosphate disorders, including the oral dose of elemental calcium prescribed as phosphate binder (CaCO(3)). Compared to patients with AIC, patients with AMC had a longer survival, but in turn their survival was significantly shorter than that of patients without calcifications. AMC is a strong prognostic marker of all-cause and CV mortality in HD patients, independently of classical atherogenic factors. The principal effect of AMC on arterial function is increased arterial stiffness.
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              Spontaneous calcification of arteries and cartilage in mice lacking matrix GLA protein.

               G Pinero,  X. Luo,  P Ducy (1997)
              Calcification of the extracellular matrix (ECM) can be physiological or pathological. Physiological calcification occurs in bone when the soft ECM is converted into a rigid material capable of sustaining mechanical force; pathological calcification can occur in arteries and cartilage and other soft tissues. No molecular determinant regulating ECM calcification has yet been identified. A candidate molecule is matrix GLA protein (Mgp), a mineral-binding ECM protein synthesized by vascular smooth-muscle cells and chondrocytes, two cell types that produce an uncalcified ECM. Mice that lack Mgp develop to term but die within two months as a result of arterial calcification which leads to blood-vessel rupture. Chondrocytes that elaborate a typical cartilage matrix can be seen in the affected arteries. Mgp-deficient mice additionally exhibit inappropriate calcification of various cartilages, including the growth plate, which eventually leads to short stature, osteopenia and fractures. These results indicate that ECM calcification must be actively inhibited in soft tissues. To our knowledge, Mgp is the first inhibitor of calcification of arteries and cartilage to be characterized in vivo.

                Author and article information

                Aging (Albany NY)
                Aging (Albany NY)
                Aging (Albany NY)
                Impact Journals
                30 June 2019
                26 June 2019
                : 11
                : 12
                : 4274-4299
                [1 ]Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Faro 8005-139, Portugal
                [2 ]GenoGla Diagnostics, Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Faro 8005-139, Portugal
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Dina Simes; email:
                102046 102046
                Copyright © 2019 Viegas et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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