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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Sep;70(17):3187-97. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1231-y. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Regulatory circuits controlling vascular cell calcification.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Center for the Health Sciences, A2-237, 10833 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1679, USA.


Vascular calcification is a common feature of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Such abnormal calcium deposition occurs in medial and/or intimal layers of blood vessels as well as in cardiac valves. Once considered a passive and inconsequential finding, the presence of calcium deposits in the vasculature is widely accepted as a predictor of increased morbidity and mortality. Recognition of the importance of vascular calcification in health is driving research into mechanisms that govern its development, progression, and regression. Diverse, but highly interconnected factors, have been implicated, including disturbances in lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokines, and mineral and hormonal balances, which can lead to formation of osteoblast-like cells in the artery wall. A tight balance of procalcific and anticalcific regulators dictates the extent of disease. In this review, we focus on the main regulatory circuits modulating vascular cell calcification.

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