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Pflugers Arch. 2009 Oct;458(6):1151-61. doi: 10.1007/s00424-009-0688-5. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Vascular smooth muscle cell calcification and SLC20 inorganic phosphate transporters: effects of PDGF, TNF-alpha, and Pi.

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Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Zaragoza, Calle Miguel Servet 177, 50013, Zaragoza, Spain.


Pi transport by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) has been proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular calcification. In this study, we have determined the correlation between calcification induced by Pi, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha and Pi transport activity in primary cultures of rat aortic VSMC. These agents induced calcification and increased the expression of Cbfa1, Msx2, and Bmp2 osteogene messenger RNA in rat aortic VSMC, while Pi transport rate was not modified per milligram of protein. Only PDGF increased Pi transport when it was expressed per unit of DNA, as PDGF also increased total cell protein by 100%, while DNA content and number of cells were not modified. PDGF increased the expression of the Pi transporter, Pit-1, but membrane protein biotinylation showed that Pit-1 abundance was not modified in the cell surface. Immunofluorescence revealed that, under basal conditions, Pit-1 is only slightly expressed at the cell membrane, but strongly expressed inside the cell. The intracellular signal colocalizes with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) markers, and PDGF increases Pit-1 expression in the ER but not the cell membrane. In conclusion, Pi transport across the plasma membrane does not correlate directly with calcification, but the expression of Pit-1 in the ER opens new possibilities for the study of the pathogenesis of vascular calcification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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