Adequate phosphate binding with lanthanum carbonate attenuates arterial calcification in chronic renal failure rats

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 Jun;24(6):1790-9. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfn737. Epub 2009 Jan 14.


Background: Hyperphosphataemia is a risk factor for arterial calcification contributing to the high cardiovascular mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease. Calcium-based phosphate binders can induce hypercalcaemia and are associated with progression of vascular calcification. Therefore, the effect of lanthanum carbonate, a non-calcium phosphate binder, on the development of vascular calcification was investigated in uraemic rats.

Methods: Chronic renal failure (CRF) was induced by feeding rats an adenine-enriched diet for 4 weeks. After 2 weeks, 1% or 2% lanthanum carbonate was added to the diet for 6 weeks. Calcification in the aorta, carotid and femoral arteries was evaluated histomorphometrically, biochemically and by ex vivo micro-CT. Chondro-/osteogenic conversion of vascular smooth muscle cells was also analysed in the rat aorta.

Results: Treatment with 1% lanthanum carbonate (1% La) did not reduce vascular calcification, but in the 2% lanthanum carbonate (2% La) group vascular calcium content and area% Von Kossa positivity were decreased compared with control CRF rats. The aortic calcified volume measured with ex vivo micro-CT was significantly reduced in rats treated with 2% La. Although calcification was inhibited by treatment with 2% La, the chondrocyte transcription factor sox-9 was abundantly expressed in the aorta.

Conclusion: Treatment of CRF rats with 2% La reduces the development of vascular calcification by adequate phosphate binding resulting in a decreased supply of phosphate as a substrate for vascular calcification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / drug effects
  • Arteries / metabolism
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Calcinosis / metabolism
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Calcinosis / prevention & control*
  • Chondrogenesis / drug effects
  • Hyperphosphatemia / drug therapy
  • Hyperphosphatemia / metabolism
  • Hyperphosphatemia / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Lanthanum / administration & dosage
  • Lanthanum / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology
  • Vascular Diseases / prevention & control*


  • Phosphates
  • lanthanum carbonate
  • Lanthanum