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ABSTRACT: Aldosterone (Aldo) is an important active hormone in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and plays a vital role in the development of hypertension, heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. We aimed to explore the role of endogenous Aldo in aortic calcification in rats. We induced arterial calcification in rats by intramuscular administration of vitamin D(3) plus oral nicotine (VDN) and determined calcium content, (45)Ca(2+) accumulation and activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The mRNA level of osteopontin (OPN) was measured by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Deposition of collagen in the aorta wall was measured by Sirius red staining. The content of angiotensin II (Ang II) and Aldo in plasma and myocardial and vascular tissue was determined by radioimmunoassay. In rats with VDN treatment, von Kossa staining showed calcification in vascular smooth muscle cells and extracellular matrix, and the content of calcium in calcified arteries was 5.8-fold of that in control arteries (P < 0.01). The accumulation of (45)Ca(2+) and activity of ALP in calcified aortic tissue was three- and 2.5-fold, respectively, that in control tissue (P < 0.01). The mRNA expression of OPN was significantly higher, by 58%, in calcified than control tissue (P < 0.01). Vascular fibrosis was greater in rats with calcified tissue than in control rats. The level of Ang II and Aldo was 58% and 80% higher, respectively, in calcified than control tissue (both P < 0.01). The changes could be significantly improved by treatment with captopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, and the Aldo receptor antagonist spironolactone. These results suggest that Aldo is an endogenous bioactive factor involved in vascular calcification.
Experimental Biology and Medicine 12/2011; 237(1):31-7. · 2.80 Impact Factor