Vascular calcification in patients with type 2 diabetes: the involvement of matrix Gla protein

Sophie Liabeuf, Olivier Bourron, Cees Vemeer, Elke Theuwissen, Elke Magdeleyns, Carole Elodie Aubert, Michel Brazier, Romuald Mentaverri, Agnes Hartemann, Ziad A. Massy*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is an important inhibitor of calcification. The objective of the present study of patients with type 2 diabetes and normal or slightly altered kidney function was to evaluate levels of inactive, dephospho-uncarboxylated MGP(dp-ucMGP) and total uncarboxylated MGP(t-ucMGP) and assess their links with biological and clinical parameters (including peripheral vascular calcification). Methods: The DIACART study is a cross-sectional cohort study of 198 patients with type 2 diabetes and normal or slightly altered kidney function. Matrix Gla protein levels were measured with an ELISA and all patients underwent multislice spiral computed tomography scans to score below-knee arterial calcification. Results: In the study population as a whole, the mean dp-ucMGP and t-ucMGP levels were 627 +/- 451 pM and 4868 +/- 1613 nM, respectively. Glomerular filtration rate, age and current vitamin K antagonist use were independently associated with dp-ucMGP levels. When the study population was divided according to the median peripheral arterial calcification score, patients with the higher score displayed significantly lower t-ucMGP and significantly higher dp-ucMGP levels. Furthermore, plasma dp-ucMGP was positively associated with the peripheral arterial calcification score (independently of age, gender, previous cardiovascular disease and t-ucMGP levels). Conclusions: High dp-ucMGP levels were independently associated with below-knee arterial calcification score in patients with type 2 diabetes and normal or slightly altered kidney function. The reversibility of the elevation of dp-ucMGP levels and the latter's relationship with clinical events merit further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2014


  • Matrix gla protein
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Peripheral calcification

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