Microvasculopathy and soft tissue calcification in mice are governed by fetuin-A, magnesium and pyrophosphate

Anne Babler, Carlo Schmitz, Andrea Buescher, Marietta Herrmann, Felix Gremse, Theo Gorgels, Juergen Floege, Willi Jahnen-Dechent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Calcifications can disrupt organ function in the cardiovascular system and the kidney, and are particularly common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fetuin-A deficient mice maintained against the genetic background DBA/2 exhibit particularly severe soft tissue calcifications, while fetuin-A deficient C57BL/6 mice remain healthy. We employed molecular genetic analysis to identify risk factors of calcification in fetuin-A deficient mice. We sought to identify pharmaceutical therapeutic targets that could be influenced by dietary of parenteral supplementation. We studied the progeny of an intercross of fetuin-A deficient DBA/2 and C57BL/6 mice to identify candidate risk genes involved in calcification. We determined that a hypomorphic mutation of the Abcc6 gene, a liver ATP transporter supplying systemic pyrophosphate, and failure to regulate the Trpm6 magnesium transporter in kidney were associated with severity of calcification. Calcification prone fetuin-A deficient mice were alternatively treated with parenteral administration of fetuin-A dietary magnesium supplementation, phosphate restriction, or by or parenteral pyrophosphate. All treatments markedly reduced soft tissue calcification, demonstrated by computed tomography, histology and tissue calcium measurement. We show that pathological ectopic calcification in fetuin-A deficient DBA/2 mice is caused by a compound deficiency of three major extracellular and systemic inhibitors of calcification, namely fetuin-A, magnesium, and pyrophosphate. All three of these are individually known to contribute to stabilize protein-mineral complexes and thus inhibit mineral precipitation from extracellular fluid. We show for the first time a compound triple deficiency that can be treated by simple dietary or parenteral supplementation. This is of special importance in patients with advanced CKD, who commonly exhibit reduced serum fetuin-A, magnesium and pyrophosphate levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0228938
Number of pages23
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • DYSTROPHIC CARDIAC CALCINOSIS
  • VASCULAR CALCIFICATION
  • PSEUDOXANTHOMA ELASTICUM
  • ECTOPIC MINERALIZATION
  • GLYCOPROTEIN/FETUIN-A
  • AORTIC CALCIFICATION
  • MOUSE MODEL
  • PHOSPHATE
  • PREVENTS
  • ABCC6

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