The influence of phosphate, calcium and magnesium on matrix Gla-protein and vascular calcification: a systematic review

E. Houben, A. Neradova, L. J. Schurgers, Marc Vervloet

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Vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a key inhibitor of vascular calcification (VC). MGP is synthesized by chondrocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and the absence or inactivity of MGP results in excessive calcification of both growth plate and vasculature. Apart from its vitamin K dependency little is known about other factors that influence MGP metabolism. Phosphate, calcium and magnesium are involved in bone mineralization and play an important role in VC. In this review we provide a summary of the effect of phosphate, calcium, and magnesium on MGP metabolism. Elevated phosphate and calcium levels promote VC, in part by increasing the release of matrix vesicles (MV) that under the influence of calcium and phosphate become calcification competent. Phosphate and calcium simultaneously induce an upregulation of MGP protein and gene expression, which possibly inhibits calcification. Elevated phosphate levels did not change MGP protein levels in MV. On the contrary, elevated calcium concentrations caused a decrease of MGPloading in MV, which might in part explainthe calcifying effects of MV. Magnesium is a known inhibitor of VC. However, magnesium has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on MGP synthesis induced through downregulation of the calcium-sensing receptor and hereby causing a decrease in calcium induced MGP upregulation. There might also be stimulatory effect of magnesium on MGP in which the TRPM7 channel is involved. In conclusion there is a clear interaction between MGP and phosphate, calcium and magnesium. The upregulation of MGP by phosphate and calcium might be a cellular response that possibly results in the mitigation of VC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGiornale italiano di nefrologia : organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di nefrologia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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