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Am J Cardiol. 2001 Jul 19;88(2A):20E-22E.

Insights into the mechanism of vascular calcification.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1679, USA.


Vascular calcification is common and clinically significant in atherosclerosis and heart failure. It was long believed to be an end-stage process of "passive" mineral precipitation. However, there is now a growing awareness that vascular calcification is a biologically regulated phenomenon. It has many similarities to bone formation, and ectopic bone is a well-documented part of vascular calcification. This implies that alterations in vascular cell differentiation, extensive or localized, are an integral part of vascular calcification. Matrix gamma-carboxylated glutamate (GLA) protein (MGP)-deficient mice develop extensive vascular calcification with replacement of the media by progressively calcifying cartilage. A potential mechanism that explains these findings is MGP interference with bone morphogenetic proteins-potent inducers of cartilage and bone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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