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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 19;9(2):e88767. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088767. eCollection 2014.

Vitamin D deficiency and exogenous vitamin D excess similarly increase diffuse atherosclerotic calcification in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom ; Sheffield Kidney Institute, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
3
Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
4
Sheffield Kidney Institute, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Observational data associate lower levels of serum vitamin D with coronary artery calcification, cardiovascular events and mortality. However, there is little interventional evidence demonstrating that moderate vitamin D deficiency plays a causative role in cardiovascular disease. This study examined the cardiovascular effects of dietary vitamin D deficiency and of vitamin D receptor agonist (paricalcitol) administration in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.

METHODS:

Mice were fed atherogenic diets with normal vitamin D content (1.5 IU/kg) or without vitamin D. Paricalcitol, or matched vehicle, was administered 3× weekly by intraperitoneal injection. Following 20 weeks of these interventions cardiovascular phenotype was characterized by histological assessment of aortic sinus atheroma, soluble markers, blood pressure and echocardiography. To place the cardiovascular assessments in the context of intervention effects on bone, structural changes at the tibia were assessed by microtomography.

RESULTS:

Vitamin D deficient diet induced significant reductions in plasma vitamin D (p<0.001), trabecular bone volume (p<0.01) and bone mineral density (p<0.005). These changes were accompanied by an increase in calcification density (number of calcifications per mm(2)) of von Kossa-stained aortic sinus atheroma (461 versus 200, p<0.01). Paricalcitol administration suppressed parathyroid hormone (p<0.001), elevated plasma calcium phosphate product (p<0.005) and induced an increase in calcification density (472 versus 200, p<0.005) similar to that seen with vitamin D deficiency. Atheroma burden, blood pressure, metabolic profile and measures of left ventricular hypertrophy were unaffected by the interventions.

CONCLUSION:

Vitamin D deficiency, as well as excess, increases atherosclerotic calcification. This phenotype is induced before other measures of cardiovascular pathology associated clinically with vitamin D deficiency. Thus, maintenance of an optimal range of vitamin D signalling may be important for prevention of atherosclerotic calcification.

PMID:
24586387
PMCID:
PMC3929524
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0088767
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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