Vascular calcification is implicated in a range of cardiovascular disease mechanisms, leading to an associated increase in morbidity and mortality. One such trigger are advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), the tissue accumulation of which increases with age and is more prevalent in diabetic subjects due to oxidative stress and poor glycaemic control. The aim of this study was to investigate the osteogenic potential of AGEs and elucidate mechanisms of inhibiting these processes in a smooth muscle cell (SMC) culture model.
Osteogenic differentiation of SMCs was induced using Î²-glycerophosphate (Î²-GP), carboxymethyllysine (CML), carboxyethyllysine (CEL) methylglyoxal (MGO) and glycated low density lipoprotein (gly-LDL). The cells were subsequently treated with aminoguanidine (AG), an inhibitor of AGE formation, and novel glycomimetic compounds in order to determine their anti-calcification potential in vitro using qPCR, ELISA, Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and Alizarin red staining.
Gly-LDL (10 µg/ml) and CML (2.5nM) increased the level of calcification observed compared to the Î²-GP (5 mM) positive control after 21 days (p < 0.05), with gly-LDL induced calcification apparent after 14 days. Both AG (250 µM) and the novel glycomimetic compounds reduced the level of mineralisation observed at 21 days compared with osteogenic treatments (p < 0.05). CEL (2.5 nM) and MGO (0.1 mM) both induced calcification, however mineralization was not as extensive as with Î²-GP. When compared to the structure of CML, the side-chain of CEL contains an extra methyl group, suggesting this group impacts RAGE receptor binding. It was also shown that Î²-GP combined with increased glucose concentration induced more extensive calcification unlike low glucose levels and Î²-GP alone. ALP activity, when stimulated with Î²-GP, CML and gly-LDL was greater at day 4 than at day 7, with AG reducing ALP activity measurements at day 4. Gly-LDL increases gene expression of OCN at day 4 compared with Î²-GP and CML, however this was reduced at day 7, corresponding with an increased expression of OPN and OPG. NOTCH-3 gene expression was also reduced at day 7. Gene expression of OPN, OPG and NOTCH-3 were reduced at both day 4 and day 7 compared with osteogenic treatments (Î²-GP, CML and gly-LDL).
In summary, we conclude that gly-LDL and CML are potent inducers of calcification compared with Î²-GP, and that their osteogenic potential can be modulated by both AG and novel glycomimetic compounds.
- Vascular Calcification
- Cardiovascular Disease
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