Abstract

 

Vascular calcification is the heterotopic accumulation of calcium phosphate salts in the vascular tissue and is highly correlated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In this study, we found that the expression of neuromedin B (NMB) and NMB receptor is upregulated in phosphate-induced calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Silencing of NMB or treatment with NMB receptor antagonist, PD168368, inhibited the phosphate-induced osteogenic differentiation of VSMCs by inhibiting Wnt/-catenin signaling and VSMC apoptosis. PD168368 also attenuated the arterial calcification in cultured aortic rings and in a rat model of chronic kidney disease. The results of this study suggest that NMB–NMB receptor axis may have potential therapeutic value in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular calcification.