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J Nephrol. 2011 Nov-Dec;24(6):669-72. doi: 10.5301/jn.5000029.

Natural antioxidants and vascular calcification: a possible benefit.

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Asturias Central University Hospital, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.



Several studies have demonstrated the impact of vascular calcification on morbidity and mortality both in the general and chronic kidney disease populations. The process of vascular calcification involves complex mechanisms including the overexpression of genes and proteins associated with mineralization and increments of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taking into account previous findings, we decided to analyze in vitro the likely inhibitory effect of natural antioxidants in the process of vascular calcification.


Primary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were cultured with either normal medium or normal medium supplemented with calcium and phosphorus (P + Ca) in combination with several antioxidants. Mineralization, intracellular reactive oxygen species levels and the protein expression of Cbfa1/RUNX2 and Mn-superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD-2) were investigated.


Curcumin and silybin were the more effective, inhibiting both ROS increase and VSMC mineralization. Curcumin was able to prevent the increase in Cbfa1/RUNX2 expression, but did not modify SOD-2 expression in the VSMCs cultured with the P + Ca medium.


These findings support the importance of performing further studies in this field, as some antioxidants might have potential benefits in the management of vascular calcification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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