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Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Aug 15;689(1-3):139-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2012.05.016. Epub 2012 May 31.

Inhibition of ectonucleotidase with ARL67156 prevents the development of calcific aortic valve disease in warfarin-treated rats.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Études Moléculaires des Valvulopathies (LEMV), Groupe de Recherche en Valvulopathies (GRV), Quebec Heart and Lung Institute/Research Center, Department of Surgery, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.


Calcific aortic valve disease is the most common heart valve disorder. So far, there is no medical treatment for calcific aortic valve disease. The expression of ectonucleotidases, which metabolize nucleotides into phosphate products, may influence the calcification of the aortic valve. In this study, we investigated if the administration of an ectonucleotidase inhibitor, ARL67156 (6-N,N-Diethyl-D-β,γ-dibromomethyleneATP trisodium salt), may prevent the calcification of the aortic valve in the warfarin-induced mineralization rat model. Male Wistar rats were treated with warfarin or warfarin+ARL67156 for 28 days. All rats had comprehensive Doppler-echocardiographic studies at 28 day. A gene profiling of ectonucleotidases expressed in aortas of rats was documented by quantitative real-time PCR. The amount of calcium was determined by quantitative method and von Kossa staining. Ex vivo cultures of rat aortas were also used to further assess the effect of ARL67156 on the calcifying process and Akt signaling. Mineralization of the aorta/aortic valve was documented in warfarin-treated rats and was accompanied by the development of aortic stenosis. These changes were paralleled by an increased of ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-1 (ENPP1). Administration of the ectonucleotidase inhibitor, ARL67156 prevented the development of aortic stenosis by lowering the level of apoptosis and mineralization of the aortic valve/aorta. In addition, ARL67156 normalized the level of pAkt, an important kinase involved in the survival pathway. Inhibition of ectonucleotidase activity prevented the development of calcific aortic valve disease in a rat model. On that account, ectonucleotidase may represent a novel target in the treatment of calcific aortic valve disease.

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