Patients undergoing long-term hemodialysis (HD) are known to have abnormal blood concentrations of antioxidant minerals; concurrent oxidative stress can contribute to increased vascular calcification. This study aims to evaluate the associations between circulating antioxidant minerals and clinical biomarkers of vascular calcification in HD patients. Blood biochemical parameters, antioxidant minerals (selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and magnesium (Mg)), and several promoters and inhibitors of calcification (matrix Gla protein (MGP), fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and -9), and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1 and -2)) were determined in HD patients (n = 62) and age- and sex-matched healthy individuals (n = 30). Compared with healthy subjects, HD patients had significantly lower plasma concentrations of Se and Zn, increased Cu and Mg, and higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers (Cu/Zn ratios, malondialdehyde (MDA), advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and C-reactive protein (CRP)). We observed that HD patients had significantly lower concentrations of MGP and higher levels of FGF-23, MMP-2 and -9, TIMP-1 and -2, and MMP-2/TIMP-2 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios. We also observed significant relationships between the concentrations of these minerals and calcification biomarkers in HD patients. These results suggest that changes in the homeostasis of antioxidant minerals (Se, Zn, Cu, and Mg) may contribute to the effects of oxidative stress and inflammatory status, thereby participating in the mechanism for accelerated vascular calcification in patients undergoing long-term HD.
Keywords: Vascular calcification; antioxidant minerals; hemodialysis patients; inflammation; oxidative stress.