Metabolic acidosis inhibits soft tissue calcification in uremic rats

Kidney Int. 2008 Feb;73(4):407-14. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2007 Nov 7.


Metabolic acidosis is common in patients with chronic kidney disease, which is known to affect bone metabolism. We examined the effect of metabolic acidosis on the development of vascular and other soft-tissue calcifications in uremic rats treated with calcitriol. Extraskeletal calcification was measured in vivo, in control rats and rats with a remnant kidney model of uremia with or without ammonium chloride-induced acidosis. Soft-tissue calcification was assessed histologically, by measurement of the expression of the sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter Pit-1 and by quantification of tissue calcium and phosphorus. Calcitriol administration to uremic rats resulted in significant deposition of material positive for von Kossa stain in the aorta, stomach, and kidney, elevated aortic calcium and phosphorus, increased aortic Pit-1 expression, and high mortality. Calcitriol-treated uremic rats with acidosis did not develop aortic or soft-tissue calcification, did not increase aortic Pit-1 expression, and had significantly lower mortality. Additionally, an acidotic environment prevented calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro. Our study shows that metabolic acidosis inhibits extraskeletal calcification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / administration & dosage
  • Calcinosis / metabolism*
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Calcinosis / prevention & control
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium Channel Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Cattle
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type III / analysis
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Uremia / metabolism*


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Calcium Channel Agonists
  • Phosphates
  • Slc20a1 protein, rat
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type III
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium