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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2001 May;21(5):817-24.

Bisphosphonates alendronate and ibandronate inhibit artery calcification at doses comparable to those that inhibit bone resorption.

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1
Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0368, USA. pprice@ucsd.edu

Abstract

The present experiments were carried out to test the hypothesis that artery calcification is linked to bone resorption by determining whether the selective inhibition of bone resorption with the bisphosphonates alendronate and ibandronate will inhibit artery calcification. Artery calcification was first induced by treatment of 42-day-old male rats with warfarin, a procedure that inhibits the gamma-carboxylation of matrix Gla protein and has been shown to cause extensive calcification of the artery media within 2 weeks. These experiments revealed that ibandronate (0.05 mg. kg(-1). d(-1)) and alendronate (0.1 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1)) completely inhibited calcification of all arteries and heart valves examined after 2 and 4 weeks of warfarin treatment. A 10-fold lower dose of alendronate reduced artery calcification by 50% (P<0.005). These bisphosphonate doses are comparable to those that inhibit bone resorption in rats of this age. More rapid artery calcification was induced by treatment with warfarin together with high doses of vitamin D, a procedure that causes extensive artery calcification by 84 hours. Alendronate and ibandronate again completely inhibited calcification of all arteries and heart valves examined. The subcutaneous doses of alendronate and ibandronate necessary to inhibit artery calcification are comparable to the daily subcutaneous doses of these drugs that have previously been shown to inhibit bone resorption in rats of the same age, with 50% inhibition of artery calcification at 20 microg alendronate x kg(-1) x d(-1) and at 1 microg ibandronate x kg(-1) x d(-1) x Bisphosphonate treatment did not affect serum calcium and phosphate, and so the inhibition of artery calcification cannot be due to a simple lowering of the serum calcium phosphate ion product. We conclude that bisphosphonates inhibit the calcification of arteries and heart valves at doses comparable to the doses that inhibit bone resorption. These results support the hypothesis that artery calcification is linked to bone resorption. The mechanism of this linkage remains to be established, however, and an alternative explanation for the present results is also considered.

PMID:
11348880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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