Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Feb;24(2):179-89. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011121191. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Mechanistic insights into vascular calcification in CKD.

Author information

Nephro-Urology Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and University College London Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


Cardiovascular disease begins early in the course of renal decline and is a life-limiting problem in patients with CKD. The increased burden of cardiovascular disease is due, at least in part, to calcification of the vessel wall. The uremic milieu provides a perfect storm of risk factors for accelerated calcification, but elevated calcium and phosphate levels remain key to the initiation and progression of vascular smooth muscle cell calcification in CKD. Vascular calcification is a highly regulated process that involves a complex interplay between promoters and inhibitors of calcification and has many similarities to bone ossification. Here, we discuss current understanding of the process of vascular calcification, focusing specifically on the discrete and synergistic effects of calcium and phosphate in mediating vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis, osteochondrocytic differentiation, vesicle release, calcification inhibitor expression, senescence, and death. Using our model of intact human vessels, factors initiating vascular calcification in vivo and the role of calcium and phosphate in driving accelerated calcification ex vivo are described. This work allows us to link clinical and basic research into a working theoretical model to explain the pathway of development of vascular calcification in CKD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center