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Matrix Biol. 2012 May;31(4):246-52. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2012.02.004. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Connective tissue mineralization in Abcc6-/- mice, a model for pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

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Department of Bioengineering, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a heritable multisystem disorder characterized by ectopic mineralization. However, the structure of the mineral deposits, their interactions with the connective tissue matrix, and the details of the progressive maturation of the mineral crystals are currently unknown. In this study, we examined the mineralization processes in Abcc6(-/-) mice, a model system for PXE, by energy dispersive X-ray and Fourier transform infrared imaging spectroscopy (FT-IRIS). The results indicated that the principal components of the mineral deposits were calcium and phosphate which co-localized within the histologically demonstrable lesions determined by topographic mapping. The Ca/P ratio increased in samples with progressive mineralization reaching the value comparable to that in endochondral bone. A progressive increase in mineralization was also reflected by increased mineral-to-matrix ratio determined by FT-IRIS. Determination of the mineral phases by FT-IRIS suggested progressive maturation of the mineral deposits from amorphous calcium phosphate to hydroxyapatite. These results provide critical information of the mechanisms of mineralization in PXE, with potential pharmacologic implications.

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