Uremic Patients with Increased Vascular Calcification Score Have Serum with High Calcific Potential: Role of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Osteoblastic Differentiation and Apoptosis

Paola Ciceri, Andrea Galassi, Carlo Alfieri, Piergiorgio Messa, Mario Cozzolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/Aims: Uremic patients experience premature vascular ageing that causes cardiovascular morbidity. In this study, we investigated the relationship between uremic serum calcific potential induced by high phosphate (Pi) and vascular calcification score (VCS). Methods: Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were cultured with 3.5 mM Na 3 PO 4 (Pi) with 10% uremic serum and calcium deposition, markers of osteoblastic transformation, and apoptosis were evaluated. Results: Culture with uremic serum and high-Pi significantly induced calcification (0.21 ± 0.03 vs. 8.05 ± 0.6; ctr vs. Pi; OD/mg protein; p < 0.01). We next stratified patients with respect of the degree of VCS in 2 groups: absence of vascular calcification (VC) "no VC group" and presence of VC "VC group". We found that there was a significant correlation between VCS and uremic serum calcific potential induced by high Pi in vitro (p < 0.01). Interestingly, uremic sera of the "VC group" were more effective than sera from the "no VC group", in downregulating α-actin and SM22α, after treatment with high-Pi (41.3 ± 4.7 vs. 23.3 ± 2.9 and 25.6 ± 6.8 vs. 8.14 ± 2.3; VC vs. no VC group, α-actin and SM22α respectively; Δ intensity area; p < 0.01). Similarly, sera from "VC group" were more effective than sera from "no VC group" in adjuvanting the high-Pi effect of increasing osteoblastic markers, such as bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP2), osteocalcin (OC), and runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2; 39.1 ± 11.3 vs. 5.0 ± 2.6 BMP2; 12.2 ± 4.2 vs. 1.7 ± 0.3 OC; 2.9 ± 0.4 vs. 1.2 ± 0.2 RUNX2; VC vs. no VC group respectively; p < 0.05). We found a similar pattern with significantly higher apoptosis and necrosis induction by sera from the "VC group" compared to the "no VC group" (2.05 ± 0.33 vs. 1.29 ± 0.13 and 54.1 ± 19.5 vs. 27.4 ± 10.6; Pi; VC group vs. no VC group; enrichment factor of apoptotic or necrotic fragments, respectively; p < 0.05). Conclusions: We conclude that VCS of end-stage renal disease patients significantly correlates with serum-calcific potential induced by high Pi. In addition, uremic patients with higher VCS have sera with a higher potential to induce VSMC osteoblastic trans-differentiation, apoptosis, and necrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
JournalBlood Purification
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Phosphate
  • Uremic serum
  • Vascular calcification
  • Vascular smooth muscle cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Nephrology

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