The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology : official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology

Long Term Effect of High Glucose and Phosphate Levels on the OPG/RANK/RANKL/TRAIL System in the Progression of Vascular Calcification in rat Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells.

PMID 25729272


Osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)/receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) axis, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) participate in vascular calcification process including atherosclerosis, but their contributions under high glucose (HG) and phosphate (HP) condition for a long-term period (more than 2 weeks) have not been fully determined. In this study, we evaluated the effects of HG and HP levels over 2 or 4 weeks on the progression of vascular calcification in rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Calcium deposition in VSMCs was increased in medium containing HG (30 mmol/L D-glucose) with β-glycerophosphate (β-GP, 12 mmol/L) after 2 weeks and increased further after 4 weeks. OPG mRNA and protein expressions were unchanged in HG group with or without β-GP after 2 weeks. However, after 4 weeks, OPG mRNA and protein expressions were significantly lower in HG group with β-GP. No significant expression changes were observed in RANKL, RANK, or TRAIL during the experiment. After 4 weeks of treatment in HG group containing β-GP and rhBMP-7, an inhibitor of vascular calcification, OPG expressions were maintained. Furthermore, mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), a marker of vascular mineralization, was lower in the presence of rhBMP-7. These results suggest that low OPG levels after long term HG and phosphate stimulation might reduce the binding of OPG to RANKL and TRAIL, and these changes could increase osteo-inductive VSMC differentiation, especially vascular mineralization reflected by increased ALP activity during vascular calcification.