Recent advances in multifactorial regulation of vascular calcification

Curr Opin Lipidol. 2001 Oct;12(5):555-60. doi: 10.1097/00041433-200110000-00012.


Calcification presents important clinical implications in cardiovascular diseases, especially in coronary arteries. Epidemiological evidence has shown the coexistence of vascular calcification with both atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, and increasing evidence has shown the role of hyperlipidemia and atherogenic phospholipids in vascular calcification. The etiology of vascular calcification is also increasingly recognized as an active process. Vascular calcification initiates with matrix vesicle formation and mineralization following a process similar to that in bone. In addition, many bone regulatory factors have been shown to be present in calcified atherosclerotic lesions. In this review, we focus on the new developments emerging during the past year in regulation of vascular calcification. Regulatory factors include matrix GLA protein, the phosphate cotransporter Pit-1, a calcium-sensing receptor related factor, osteoprotegerin, leptin, bisphosphonates and oxidized lipids. Some of these, including oxidized lipids, osteoprotegerin, and bisphosphonates, appear to regulate mineralization in both bone and vasculature and may account for the co-existence of osteoporosis and atherosclerotic calcification that is independent of age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Calcinosis / physiopathology*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Diphosphonates / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology*
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Diphosphonates
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • matrix Gla protein