Oral administration of pyrophosphate inhibits connective tissue calcification.
ABSTRACT: Various disorders including pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI), which are caused by inactivating mutations in ABCC6 and ENPP1, respectively, present with extensive tissue calcification due to reduced plasma pyrophosphate (PPi). However, it has always been assumed that the bioavailability of orally administered PPi is negligible. Here, we demonstrate increased PPi concentration in the circulation of humans after oral PPi administration. Furthermore, in mouse models of PXE and GACI, oral PPi provided via drinking water attenuated their ectopic calcification phenotype. Noticeably, provision of drinking water with 0.3 mM PPi to mice heterozygous for inactivating mutations in Enpp1 during pregnancy robustly inhibited ectopic calcification in their Enpp1-/- offspring. Our work shows that orally administered PPi is readily absorbed in humans and mice and inhibits connective tissue calcification in mouse models of PXE and GACI PPi, which is recognized as safe by the FDA, therefore not only has great potential as an effective and extremely low-cost treatment for these currently intractable genetic disorders, but also in other conditions involving connective tissue calcification.
Project description:Ectopic mineralization is a global problem and leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The pathomechanisms of ectopic mineralization are poorly understood. Recent studies on heritable ectopic mineralization disorders with defined gene defects have been helpful in elucidation of the mechanisms of ectopic mineralization in general. The prototype of such disorders is pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a late-onset, slowly progressing disorder with multisystem clinical manifestations. Other conditions include generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI), characterized by severe, early-onset mineralization of the cardiovascular system, often with early postnatal demise. In addition, arterial calcification due to CD73 deficiency (ACDC) occurs late in life, mostly affecting arteries in the lower extremities in elderly individuals. These three conditions, PXE, GACI, and ACDC, caused by mutations in ABCC6, ENPP1, and NT5E, respectively, are characterized by reduced levels of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi) in plasma. Because PPi is a powerful antimineralization factor, it has been postulated that reduced PPi is a major determinant for ectopic mineralization in these conditions. These and related observations on complementary mechanisms of ectopic mineralization have resulted in development of potential treatment modalities for PXE, including administration of bisphosphonates, stable PPi analogs with antimineralization activity. It is conceivable that efficient treatments may soon become available for heritable ectopic mineralization disorders with application to common calcification disorders.
Project description:Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is associated with biallelic mutations in ENPP1 in the majority of cases, whereas mutations in ABCC6 (ATP-binding cassette subfamily C number 6) are known to cause pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). However, ABCC6 mutations account for a significant subset of GACI cases, and ENPP1 mutations can also be associated with PXE lesions. Based on the considerable overlap of GACI and PXE, both entities appear to reflect two ends of a clinical spectrum of ectopic calcification rather than two distinct disorders. ABCC6 and ENPP1 mutations might lead to alterations of the same physiological pathways.
Project description:Spontaneous pathologic arterial calcifications in childhood can occur in generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) or in pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). GACI is associated with biallelic mutations in ENPP1 in the majority of cases, whereas mutations in ABCC6 are known to cause PXE. However, the genetic basis in subsets of both disease phenotypes remains elusive. We hypothesized that GACI and PXE are in a closely related spectrum of disease. We used a standardized questionnaire to retrospectively evaluate the phenotype of 92 probands with a clinical history of GACI. We obtained the ENPP1 genotype by conventional sequencing. In those patients with less than two disease-causing ENPP1 mutations, we sequenced ABCC6. We observed that three GACI patients who carried biallelic ENPP1 mutations developed typical signs of PXE between 5 and 8 years of age; these signs included angioid streaks and pseudoxanthomatous skin lesions. In 28 patients, no disease-causing ENPP1 mutation was found. In 14 of these patients, we detected pathogenic ABCC6 mutations (biallelic mutations in eight patients, monoallelic mutations in six patients). Thus, ABCC6 mutations account for a significant subset of GACI patients, and ENPP1 mutations can also be associated with PXE lesions in school-aged children. Based on the considerable overlap of genotype and phenotype of GACI and PXE, both entities appear to reflect two ends of a clinical spectrum of ectopic calcification and other organ pathologies, rather than two distinct disorders. ABCC6 and ENPP1 mutations might lead to alterations of the same physiological pathways in tissues beyond the artery.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a multisystem orphan disease, clinically affects the skin, the eyes, and the cardiovascular system with considerable morbidity and mortality. The clinical manifestations reflect the underlying pathology consisting of ectopic mineralization of peripheral connective tissues. AREAS COVERED:The diagnostic criteria of PXE include characteristic clinical findings, together with histopathology of accumulation of pleiomorphic elastic structures in the dermis with progressive mineralization, and the presence of mutations in the ABCC6 gene. PXE-like cutaneous changes can also be encountered in other ectopic mineralization disorders, including generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) caused by mutations in the ENPP1 gene. In some cases, overlapping clinical features of PXE/GACI, associated with mutations either in ABCC6 or ENPP1, have been noted. PXE demonstrates considerable inter- and intrafamilial heterogeneity, and consequently, accurate diagnosis is required for appropriate classification with prognostic implications. There is no effective and specific treatment for the systemic manifestations of PXE, but effective therapies to counteract the ocular complications are in current clinical use. EXPERT OPINION:A number of observations in the murine model, the Abcc6-/- mouse, have indicated that the mineral composition of diet, particularly the magnesium content, can influence the severity of the mineralization phenotype. These observations suggest that appropriate dietary interventions, coupled with lifestyle modifications, including smoking cessation, might alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life of individuals affected with this, currently intractable, orphan disease.
Project description:Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by congenital calcification of large- and medium-sized arteries, associated with early myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke, and premature death. Most cases of GACI are caused by mutations in the ENPP1 gene. We first studied two siblings with GACI from a non-consanguineous family without mutations in the ENPP1 gene. To search for disease-causing mutations, we identified genomic regions shared between the two affected siblings but not their unaffected parents or brother. The ABCC6 gene, which is mutated in pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), resided within a small region of homozygosity shared by the affected siblings. Sequence analysis of ABCC6 revealed that the two affected siblings were homozygous for the missense mutation p.R1314W. Subsequently, ABCC6 mutations were identified in five additional GACI families with normal ENPP1 sequences. Genetic mutations in ABCC6 in patients with PXE are associated with ectopic tissue mineralization in the skin and arterial blood vessels. Thus, our findings provide additional evidence that the ABCC6 gene product inhibits calcification under physiologic conditions and confirm a second locus for GACI. In addition, our study emphasizes the potential utility of shared homozygosity mapping to identify genetic causes of inherited disorders.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a prototype of heritable ectopic mineralization disorders, is caused in most cases by inactivating mutations in the ABCC6 gene. It was recently discovered that absence of ABCC6-mediated adenosine triphosphate release from the liver and consequently reduced plasma inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi) levels underlie PXE. This study examined whether reduced levels of circulating PPi, an antimineralization factor, is the sole mechanism of PXE. The Abcc6-/- and Enpp1asj mice were crossed with transgenic mice expressing human ENPP1, an ectonucleotidase that generates PPi from adenosine triphosphate. We generated Abcc6-/- and Enpp1asj mice, either wild-type or hemizygous for human ENPP1. Plasma levels of PPi and the degree of ectopic mineralization were determined. Overexpression of human ENPP1 in Enpp1asj mice normalized plasma PPi levels to that of wild-type mice and, consequently, completely prevented ectopic mineralization. These changes were accompanied by restoration of their bone microarchitecture. In contrast, although significantly reduced mineralization was noted in Abcc6-/- mice expressing human ENPP1, small mineralization foci were still evident despite increased plasma PPi levels. These results suggest that PPi is the major mediator of ectopic mineralization in PXE, but there might be an alternative, as yet unknown mechanism, independent of PPi, by which ABCC6 prevents ectopic mineralization under physiologic conditions.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) are heritable disorders manifesting with ectopic tissue mineralization. Most cases of PXE and some cases of GACI are caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene, resulting in reduced plasma pyrophosphate (PPi) levels. There is no effective treatment for these disorders. It has been suggested that administration of bisphosphonates, stable and non-hydrolyzable PPi analogs, could counteract ectopic mineralization in these disorders. In this study we tested the potential efficacy of etidronate, a first generation bisphosphonate, on ectopic mineralization in the muzzle skin of Abcc6-/- mice, a model of PXE. The Abcc6-/- mice received subcutaneous injections of etidronate, 0.283 and 3.40 mg/kg per injection (0.01× and 0.12×), twice a week, in both prevention and reversal studies. Ectopic mineralization in the dermal sheath of vibrissae in muzzle skin was determined by histopathologic analysis and by direct chemical assay for calcium content. Subcutaneous injection of etidronate prevented ectopic mineralization but did not reverse existing mineralization. The effect of etidronate was accompanied by alterations in the trabecular bone microarchitecture, determined by micro-computed tomography. The results suggest that etidronate may offer a potential treatment modality for PXE and GACI caused by ABCC6 mutations. Etidronate therapy should be initiated in PXE patients as soon as the diagnosis is made, with careful monitoring of potential side effects.
Project description:Diseases of ectopic calcification of the vascular wall range from lethal orphan diseases such as generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI), to common diseases such as hardening of the arteries associated with aging and calciphylaxis of chronic kidney disease (CKD). GACI is a lethal orphan disease in which infants calcify the internal elastic lamina of their medium and large arteries and expire of cardiac failure as neonates, while calciphylaxis of CKD is a ubiquitous vascular calcification in patients with renal failure. Both disorders are characterized by vascular Mönckeburg's sclerosis accompanied by decreased concentrations of plasma inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi). Here we demonstrate that subcutaneous administration of an ENPP1-Fc fusion protein prevents the mortality, vascular calcifications and sequela of disease in animal models of GACI, and is accompanied by a complete clinical and biomarker response. Our findings have implications for the treatment of rare and common diseases of ectopic vascular calcification.
Project description:Artery calcification reflects an admixture of factors such as ectopic osteochondral differentiation with primary host pathological conditions. We review how genetic factors, as identified by human genome-wide association studies, and incomplete correlations with various mouse studies, including knockout and strain analyses, fit into "pieces of the puzzle" in intimal calcification in human atherosclerosis, and artery tunica media calcification in aging, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease. We also describe in sharp contrast how ENPP1, CD73, and ABCC6 serve as "cogs in a wheel" of arterial calcification. Specifically, each is a minor component in the function of a much larger network of factors that exert balanced effects to promote and suppress arterial calcification. For the network to normally suppress spontaneous arterial calcification, the "cogs" ENPP1, CD73, and ABCC6 must be present and in working order. Monogenic ENPP1, CD73, and ABCC6 deficiencies each drive a molecular pathophysiology of closely related but phenotypically different diseases (generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI), pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and arterial calcification caused by CD73 deficiency (ACDC)), in which premature onset arterial calcification is a prominent but not the sole feature.
Project description:Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is associated with widespread arterial calcification and stenoses and is caused by mutations in ENPP1. ENPP1 encodes for ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1), which cleaves ATP to generate inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP) extracellularly. The current study was designed to define the prevalence of arterial stenoses in GACI individuals and to identify the mechanism through which ENPP1 deficiency causes intimal proliferation. Furthermore, we aimed to effectively prevent and treat neointima formation in an animal model of GACI through the systemic administration of recombinant human (rh)ENPP1-Fc protein. Based on a literature review, we report that arterial stenoses are present in at least 72.4% of GACI cases. We evaluated the effect of rhENPP1-Fc on ENPP1-silenced human vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and on induced intimal proliferation in Enpp1-deficient ttw/ttw mice treated with carotid ligation. We demonstrate that silencing ENPP1 in VSMCs resulted in a tenfold increase in proliferation relative to that of cells transfected with negative control siRNA. The addition of rhENPP1-Fc, AMP or adenosine restored the silenced ENPP1-associated proliferation. In contrast, neither PPi nor etidronate, a current off-label treatment for GACI, had an effect on VSMC proliferation. Furthermore, subcutaneous rhENPP1-Fc protein replacement was effective in preventing and treating intimal hyperplasia induced by carotid ligation in an animal model of GACI. We conclude that ENPP1 inhibits neointima formation by generating AMP. RhENPP1-Fc may serve as an approach for the effective prevention and treatment of arterial stenoses in GACI.