Calcification is a component of vascular disease that usually occurs in concert with atheroma formation but through distinct pathophysiological processes. Vessel wall osteoprogenitor cells known as calcifying vascular cells can form bone matrix proteins and calcified nodules, analogous to osteoblastic differentiation in bone. These cells have been isolated from the tunica media of bovine and human arteries, and both in-vitro tissue culture models and mouse models of vascular calcification have been established. Studies of the effects of diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, estrogens and glucocorticoids on calcifying vascular cell function provide insight into the relationship between common human disease states and vascular calcification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2000


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