Zinc Inhibits HIF-Prolyl Hydroxylase Inhibitor-Aggravated VSMC Calcification Induced by High Phosphate.
ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification is a life-threatening clinical condition in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is associated with reduced zinc serum levels. Anemia is another frequent complication of CKD. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) stabilizers, also known as HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors (PHI), are promising candidates to treat CKD-associated anemia by increasing erythropoietin synthesis. Recent evidence suggests that HIFs play a pivotal role in vascular calcification. Our study explored feasible impacts of HIF PHI on phosphate (Pi)-induced calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and tested whether zinc might inhibit this mineralization process. Treatment of VSMCs with PHI aggravated Pi-induced calcium deposition and Pi uptake. PHI promoted Pi-induced loss of smooth muscle cell markers (ACTA-2, MYH11, SM22?) and enhanced osteochondrogenic gene expression (Msx-2, BMP-2, Sp7) triggering osteochondrogenic phenotypic switch of VSMCs. These effects of PHI paralleled with increased pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) expression, decreased Runx2 Ser451 phosphorylation, and reduced cell viability. Zinc inhibited Pi-induced mineralization of VSMCs in a dose-dependent manner and also attenuated the pro-calcification effect of PHI in Pi-induced mineralization. Zinc inhibited osteochondrogenic phenotypic switch of VSMCs reflected by lowering Pi uptake, decreasing the expressions of Msx-2, BMP-2, and Sp7 as well as the loss of smooth muscle cell-specific markers. Zinc preserved phosphorylation state of Runx2 Ser451, decreased PDK4 level, and restored cell viability. PHI alone reduced the expression of smooth muscle markers without inducing mineralization, which was also inhibited by zinc. In addition, we observed a significantly lower serum zinc level in CKD as well as in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy compared to healthy individuals. Conclusion - PHI promoted the loss of smooth muscle markers and augmented Pi-induced osteochondrogenic phenotypic switch leading to VSMCs calcification. This mineralization process was attenuated by zinc. Enhanced vascular calcification is a potential risk factor during PHI therapy in CKD which necessitates the strict follow up of vascular calcification and zinc supplementation.
Project description:Vascular calcification (VC) is prevalent in chronic kidney disease and elevated serum inorganic phosphate (Pi) is a recognized risk factor. The type III sodium-dependent phosphate transporter, PiT-1, is required for elevated Pi-induced osteochondrogenic differentiation and matrix mineralization in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, the molecular mechanism(s) by which PiT-1 promotes these processes is unclear. In the present study, we confirmed that the Pi concentration required to induce osteochondrogenic differentiation and matrix mineralization of mouse VSMCs was well above that required for maximal Pi uptake, suggesting a signaling function of PiT-1 that was independent of Pi transport. Elevated Pi-induced signaling via ERK1/2 phosphorylation was abrogated in PiT-1 deficient VSMCs, but could be rescued by wild-type (WT) and a Pi transport-deficient PiT-1 mutant. Furthermore, both WT and transport-deficient PiT-1 mutants promoted osteochondrogenic differentiation as measured by decreased SM22? and increased osteopontin mRNA expression. Finally, compared to vector alone, expression of transport-deficient PiT-1 mutants promoted VSMC matrix mineralization, but not to the extent observed with PiT-1 WT. These data suggest that both Pi uptake-dependent and -independent functions of PiT-1 are important for VSMC processes mediating vascular calcification.
Project description:Vascular calcification is highly correlated with cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a secreted decoy receptor for receptor activator of NF-?B ligand (RANKL). Inactivation of OPG in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-/-) mice increases lesion size and calcification. The mechanism(s) by which OPG is atheroprotective and anticalcific have not been entirely determined. We investigated whether OPG-deficient vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are more susceptible to mineralization and whether RANKL mediates this process.Lesion-free aortas from 12-week-old ApoE-/-OPG-/- mice had spotty calcification, an appearance of osteochondrogenic factors and a decrease of smooth muscle markers when compared to ApoE-/-OPG+/+ aortas. In osteogenic conditions, VSMCs isolated from ApoE-/-OPG-/- (KO-VSMC) mice deposited more calcium than VSMCs isolated from ApoE-/-OPG+/+ (WT-VSMC) mice. Gene expression and biochemical analysis indicated accelerated osteochondrogenic differentiation. Ablation of RANKL signaling in KO-VSMCs rescued the accelerated calcification. While WT-VSMCs did not respond to RANKL treatment, KO-VSMCs responded with enhanced calcification and the upregulation of osteochondrogenic genes. RANKL strongly induced interleukin 6 (IL-6), which partially mediated RANKL-dependent calcification and gene expression in KO-VSMCs.OPG inhibits vascular calcification by regulating the procalcific effects of RANKL on VSMCs and is thus a possible target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Background The high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of patients with CKD may result in large part from medial vascular calcification, a process promoted by hyperphosphatemia and involving osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Reduced serum zinc levels have frequently been observed in patients with CKD, but the functional relevance of this remains unclear.Methods We performed experiments in primary human aortic VSMCs; klotho-hypomorphic (kl/kl), subtotal nephrectomy, and cholecalciferol-overload mouse calcification models; and serum samples from patients with CKD.Results In cultured VSMCs, treatment with zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) blunted phosphate-induced calcification, osteo-/chondrogenic signaling, and NF-κB activation. ZnSO4 increased the abundance of zinc-finger protein TNF-α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3, also known as A20), a suppressor of the NF-κB pathway, by zinc-sensing receptor ZnR/GPR39-dependent upregulation of TNFAIP3 gene expression. Silencing of TNFAIP3 in VSMCs blunted the anticalcific effects of ZnSO4 under high phosphate conditions. kl/kl mice showed reduced plasma zinc levels, and ZnSO4 supplementation strongly blunted vascular calcification and aortic osteoinduction and upregulated aortic Tnfaip3 expression. ZnSO4 ameliorated vascular calcification in mice with chronic renal failure and mice with cholecalciferol overload. In patients with CKD, serum zinc concentrations inversely correlated with serum calcification propensity. Finally, ZnSO4 ameliorated the osteoinductive effects of uremic serum in VSMCs.Conclusions Zinc supplementation ameliorates phosphate-induced osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs and vascular calcification through an active cellular mechanism resulting from GPR39-dependent induction of TNFAIP3 and subsequent suppression of the NF-κB pathway. Zinc supplementation may be a simple treatment to reduce the burden of vascular calcification in CKD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Phosphate (Pi) toxicity is a strong determinant of vascular calcification development in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Magnesium (Mg2+) may improve cardiovascular risk via vascular calcification. The mechanism by which Mg2+ counteracts vascular calcification remains incompletely described. Here we investigated the effects of Mg2+ on Pi and secondary crystalline calciprotein particles (CPP2)-induced calcification and crystal maturation. METHODS:Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were treated with high Pi or CPP2 and supplemented with Mg2+ to study cellular calcification. The effect of Mg2+ on CPP maturation, morphology and composition was studied by medium absorbance, electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. To translate our findings to CKD patients, the effects of Mg2+ on calcification propensity (T50) were measured in sera from CKD patients and healthy controls. RESULTS:Mg2+ supplementation prevented Pi-induced calcification in VSMCs. Mg2+ dose-dependently delayed the maturation of primary CPP1 to CPP2 in vitro. Mg2+ did not prevent calcification and associated gene and protein expression when added to already formed CPP2. Confirmatory experiments in human serum demonstrated that the addition of 0.2?mmol/L Mg2+ increased T50 from healthy controls by 51?±?15?min (P?<?0.05) and CKD patients by 44?±?13?min (P?<?0.05). Each further 0.2?mmol/L addition of Mg2+ led to further increases in both groups. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that crystalline CPP2 mediates Pi-induced calcification in VSMCs. In vitro, Mg2+ delays crystalline CPP2 formation and thereby prevents Pi-induced calcification.
Project description:Vascular calcification is associated with poor cardiovascular outcome. Histochemical analysis of calcification and the expression of proteins involved in mineralization are usually based on whole section analysis, thereby often ignoring regional differences in atherosclerotic lesions. At present, limited information is available about factors involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis.This study investigates the intra-section association of micro-calcifications with markers for atherosclerosis in randomly chosen section areas of human coronary arteries. Moreover, the possible causal relationship between calcifying vascular smooth muscle cells and inflammation was explored in vitro.To gain insights into the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, we performed analysis of the distribution of micro-calcifications using a 3-MeV proton microbeam. Additionally, we performed systematic analyses of 30 to 40 regions of 12 coronary sections obtained from 6 patients including histology and immuno-histochemistry. Section areas were classified according to CD68 positivity. In vitro experiments using human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMCs) were performed to evaluate causal relationships between calcification and inflammation.From each section multiple areas were randomly chosen and subsequently analyzed. Depositions of calcium crystals at the micrometer scale were already observed in areas with early pre-atheroma type I lesions. Micro-calcifications were initiated at the elastica interna concomitantly with upregulation of the uncarboxylated form of matrix Gla-protein (ucMGP). Both the amount of calcium crystals and ucMGP staining increased from type I to IV atherosclerotic lesions. Osteochondrogenic markers BMP-2 and osteocalcin were only significantly increased in type IV atheroma lesions, and at this stage correlated with the degree of calcification. From atheroma area type III onwards a considerable number of CD68 positive cells were observed in combination with calcification, suggesting a pro-inflammatory effect of micro-calcifications. In vitro, invasion assays revealed chemoattractant properties of cell-culture medium of calcifying vascular smooth muscle cells towards THP-1 cells, which implies pro-inflammatory effect of calcium deposits. Additionally, calcifying hVSMCs revealed a pro-inflammatory profile as compared to non-calcifying hVSMCs.Our data indicate that calcification of VSMCs is one of the earliest events in the genesis of atherosclerosis, which strongly correlates with ucMGP staining. Our findings suggest that loss of calcification inhibitors and/or failure of inhibitory capacity is causative for the early precipitation of calcium, with concomitant increased inflammation followed by osteochondrogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs.
Project description:A pathologic osteochondrogenic differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) promotes arterial calcifications, a process associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The molecular pathways promoting this pathology are not completely understood. We studied VSMCs, mouse aortic rings, and human aortic valves and showed here that histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) is upregulated early in the calcification process. Gain- and loss-of-function assays demonstrate that HDAC4 is a positive regulator driving this pathology. HDAC4 can shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but in VSMCs, the cytoplasmic rather than the nuclear activity of HDAC4 promotes calcification, and a nuclear-localized mutant of HDAC4 fails to promote calcification. The cytoplasmic location and function of HDAC4 is controlled by the activity of salt-inducible kinase (SIK). Pharmacologic inhibition of SIK sends HDAC4 to the nucleus and inhibits the calcification process in VSMCs, aortic rings, and in vivo In the cytoplasm, HDAC4 binds and its activity depends on the adaptor protein ENIGMA (Pdlim7) to promote vascular calcification. These results establish a cytoplasmic role for HDAC4 and identify HDAC4, SIK, and ENIGMA as mediators of vascular calcification.
Project description:Medial vascular calcification, associated with enhanced mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD), is fostered by osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Here, we describe that serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1) was upregulated in VSMCs under calcifying conditions. In primary human aortic VSMCs, overexpression of constitutively active SGK1S422D, but not inactive SGK1K127N, upregulated osteo-/chondrogenic marker expression and activity, effects pointing to increased osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation. SGK1S422D induced nuclear translocation and increased transcriptional activity of NF-?B. Silencing or pharmacological inhibition of IKK abrogated the osteoinductive effects of SGK1S422D. Genetic deficiency, silencing, and pharmacological inhibition of SGK1 dissipated phosphate-induced calcification and osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs. Aortic calcification, stiffness, and osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation in mice following cholecalciferol overload were strongly reduced by genetic knockout or pharmacological inhibition of Sgk1 by EMD638683. Similarly, Sgk1 deficiency blunted vascular calcification in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice after subtotal nephrectomy. Treatment of human aortic smooth muscle cells with serum from uremic patients induced osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation, effects ameliorated by EMD638683. These observations identified SGK1 as a key regulator of vascular calcification. SGK1 promoted vascular calcification, at least partly, via NF-?B activation. Inhibition of SGK1 may, thus, reduce the burden of vascular calcification in CKD.
Project description:Medial vascular calcification (MVC) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease, obesity, and aging. MVC is an actively regulated process that resembles skeletal mineralization, resulting from chondro-osteogenic transformation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Here, we used mineralizing murine VSMCs to study the expression of PHOSPHO1, a phosphatase that participates in the first step of matrix vesicles-mediated initiation of mineralization during endochondral ossification. Wild-type (WT) VSMCs cultured under calcifying conditions exhibited increased Phospho1 gene expression and Phospho1(-/-) VSMCs failed to mineralize in vitro. Using natural PHOSPHO1 substrates, potent and specific inhibitors of PHOSPHO1 were identified via high-throughput screening and mechanistic analysis and two of these inhibitors, designated MLS-0390838 and MLS-0263839, were selected for further analysis. Their effectiveness in preventing VSMC calcification by targeting PHOSPHO1 function was assessed, alone and in combination with a potent tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) inhibitor MLS-0038949. PHOSPHO1 inhibition by MLS-0263839 in mineralizing WT cells (cultured with added inorganic phosphate) reduced calcification in culture to 41.8%?±?2.0% of control. Combined inhibition of PHOSPHO1 by MLS-0263839 and TNAP by MLS-0038949 significantly reduced calcification to 20.9%?±?0.74% of control. Furthermore, the dual inhibition strategy affected the expression of several mineralization-related enzymes while increasing expression of the smooth muscle cell marker Acta2. We conclude that PHOSPHO1 plays a critical role in VSMC mineralization and that "phosphatase inhibition" may be a useful therapeutic strategy to reduce MVC.
Project description:Vascular calcification is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) plays an instructive role in osteogenesis and bone development, but its role in vascular calcification was unknown. Therefore, we investigated the involvement of FGF-2 in vascular calcification and determined the mechanism by which it regulates this process.We demonstrate that FGF-2 expression is increased in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) induced to deposit a mineralized matrix by incubation with ?-glycerophosphate. FGF-2 is also localized to sites of calcification within human atherosclerotic plaques. The expression of syndecan-4, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan which regulates FGF-2 signalling, is also increased in mineralizing VSMCs and co-localizes with FGF-2 in human calcified atherosclerotic plaques. Exogenous FGF-2 inhibits VSMC mineralization, and this inhibition is reduced when syndecan-4 expression is knocked-down using siRNA. Biochemical inhibition of FGFR signalling using a pan FGFR inhibitor (BGJ398) or knocking-down syndecan-4 expression in VSMCs using siRNA increases VSMC mineralization. These increases are prevented by inhibiting transforming growth factor-? (TGF?) signalling with SB431542, suggesting cross-talk between FGF-2 and TGF? signalling is crucial for the regulation of VSMC mineralization. Syndecan-4 can also regulate FGF-2 signalling directly via protein kinase C? (PKC?) activation. Biochemical inhibition of PKC? activity using Gö6976, or siRNA-mediated suppression of PKC? expression increases VSMC mineralization; this increase is also prevented with SB431542. Finally, the ability of FGF-2 to inhibit VSMC mineralization is reduced when PKC? expression is knocked-down.This is the first demonstration that syndecan-4 promotes FGF-2 signalling, and in turn, suppresses VSMC mineralization by down-regulating TGF? signalling. Our discoveries that FGF-2 and syndecan-4 expression is increased in mineralizing VSMCs and that PKC? regulates FGF-2 and TGF? signalling in VSMCs suggests that the syndecan-4/FGF-2/TGF? signalling axis could represent a new therapeutic target for vascular calcification.
Project description:Vascular calcification is a complication of diseases and conditions such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and aging. Previous studies have demonstrated that high concentrations of inorganic phosphate (Pi) can induce oxidative stress and vascular smooth muscle cell calcification. KEAP1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1)/NF-E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) signaling has been shown to play important roles in protecting cells from oxidative stress. The current study aims to investigate the possible involvement of the KEAP1/NRF2/P62 -mediated antioxidant pathway in vascular calcification induced by high Pi levels. Exposure of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to high Pi concentrations promoted the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the nuclear translocation of NRF2, along with an increase in P62 levels and a decrease in KEAP1 levels. A classic NRF2 activator, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), significantly decreased ROS levels and calcium deposition in VSMCs by promoting the nuclear translocation of NRF2 and upregulating P62 and KEAP1 expression. In contrast, silencing NRF2 and P62 with siRNAs increased the levels of ROS and calcium deposition in VSMCs. In conclusion, VSMC calcification can be alleviated by the activation of the KEAP1/NRF2/P62 antioxidative pathway, which could have a protective role when it is exogenously activated by tBHQ.