Characterization and assessment of potential microRNAs involved in phosphate-induced aortic calcification
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Medial artery calcification, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease (CKD), is known as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Hyperphosphatemia associated with CKD is a strong stimulator of vascular calcification but the molecular mechanisms regulating this process remain not fully understood. We showed that calcification was induced after exposing Sprague-Dawley rat aortic explants to high inorganic phosphate level (P i , 6 mM) as examined by Alizarin red and Von Kossa staining. This calcification was associated with high Tissue-Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase (TNAP) activity, vascular smooth muscle cells de-differentiation, manifested by downregulation of smooth muscle 22 alpha (SM22?) protein expression which was assessed by immunoblot analysis, immunofluorescence, and trans-differentiation into osteo-chondrocyte-like cells revealed by upregulation of Runt related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), TNAP, osteocalcin, and osteopontin mRNA levels which were determined by quantitative real-time PCR. To unravel the possible mechanism(s) involved in this process, microRNA (miR) expression profile, which was assessed using TLDA technique and thereafter confirmed by individual qRT-PCR, revealed differential expression 10 miRs, five at day 3 and 5 at day 6 post P i treatment versus control untreated aortas. At day 3, miR-200c, -155, 322 were upregulated and miR-708 and 331 were downregulated. After 6 days of treatment, miR-328, -546, -301a were upregulated while miR-409 and miR-542 were downregulated. Our results indicate that high P i levels trigger aortic calcification and modulation of certain miRs. These observations suggest that mechanisms regulating aortic calcification might involve miRs, which warrant further investigations in future studies. - 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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