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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Nov;28(11):2735-44. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft268. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Vitamin D receptor activation, left ventricular hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis.

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Servicio de Metabolismo Óseo y Mineral. Instituto Reina Sofía de Investigación. REDinREN del ISCIII. Universidad de Oviedo. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, España.



Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a common complication in chronic kidney disease (CKD), is associated with high cardiovascular mortality. The aim of this experimental study was to analyze the effect of different vitamin D receptor activators (VDRAs) on both LVH and myocardial fibrosis in chronic renal failure (CRF).


Male Wistar rats with CRF, carried out by 7/8 nephrectomy, were treated intraperitoneally with equivalent doses of VDRAs (calcitriol, paricalcitol and alfacalcidol, 5 days per week) during 4 weeks. A placebo group (CRF + vehicle) and a Sham group with normal renal function served as controls. Biochemical, morphological, functional and molecular parameters associated with LVH were evaluated, as well as cardiac fibrosis, collagen I, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) expression.


All VDRAs treatment prevented LVH, with values of cardiomyocyte size, LV wall and septum thickness and heart-body weight ratio similar to those observed in the Sham group. At molecular levels, all VDRAs attenuated atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) expression compared with CRF + vehicle. The phosphorylation of ERK1/2, a signal for activating growth, was stimulated in the CRF + vehicle group; VDRAs use prevented this activation. Paricalcitol was the only VDRA used that maintained in the normal range all parameters associated with myocardial fibrosis (total collagen, collagen I, TGFβ1 and MMP1).


Our findings demonstrated that the three VDRAs used induced similar changes in bone metabolic parameters and LVH. In addition, paricalcitol was the only VDRA which showed a relevant beneficial effect in the reduction of myocardial fibrosis, a key factor in the myocardial dysfunction in CKD patients.


CKD; LVH; VDRAs; myocardial fibrosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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