In this review we consider diseases associated with pathological mineralization/ossification, namely, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), osteoarthritis (OA), generalized artery calcification of infancy (GACI), vascular calcification as well as chondrocalcinosis (CC) and pseudo gout. Deciphering the key enzymes implicated in the calcification process is an objective of prime importance and the ultimate goal is to synthesize inhibitors of these enzymes in order to provide efficient alternate therapeutic strategies that will slow down the pathologic mineralization and complement the arsenal of anti-inflammatory drugs. One of the difficulties in the definition of diseases associated with pathologic mineralization/ossification lies in the controversial relationship between the type of calcification and the nature of the disease. Here, we propose to clarify this relationship by making a distinction between diseases associated with hydroxyapatite (HA) and calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposits. AS, OA, GACI and vascular calcification are usually characterized by mineralization/ossification associated with HA deposits, while CC and pseudo gout are mostly characterized by CPPD deposits. Although both HA and CPPD deposits may occur concomitantly, as in chronic pyrophosphate arthritis or in OA with CPPD, they are formed as a result of two antagonistic processes indicating that treatment of distinct diseases can be only achieved by diseasespecific drug therapies. The hydrolysis of PPi, an inhibitor of HA formation, is mostly controlled by tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase TNAP, while PPi production in the extracellular medium is controlled by ANK, a PPi transporter, and/or NPP1 which generates PPi from nucleotide triphosphates. Low PPi concentration may lead to a preferential deposition of HA while high PPi concentration will favor the formation of CPPD deposits. Thus, HA and CCPD deposition cannot occur concomitantly because they are determined by the Pi/PPi ratio which, in turn, depends on the relative activities of antagonistic enzymes, TNAP hydrolyzing PPi or ANK and NPP1 producing PPi. TNAP inhibitors could prevent HA formation in AS, in late OA, in GACI, as well as in vascular calcifications, while ANK or NPP1 inhibitors could slow down CCPD deposition in CC and pseudo gout.
Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis, alkaline phosphatase, calcification, chondrocalcinosis, hydroxyapatite, matrix vesicle, osteoarthritis, phosphate, pseudo gout, pyrophosphate, vascular calcification
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport