Mineralization of bone and tooth extracellular matrix (ECM) is a physiologic process, while soft tissue mineralization, also
known as ectopic mineralization (calcification), is a pathologic condition. Vascular calcification is common in aging and also in a number
of genetic and metabolic disorders. The calcific deposits in arteries complicate the prognosis and increase the morbidity in diseases
such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). To completely understand the pathophysiology of these lifethreatening
diseases, it is critical to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying vascular calcification. Unveiling these mechanisms
will eventually identify new therapeutic targets and also improve the management of the associated complications. In the current review,
we discussed the common determinants of ECM mineralization, the mechanism of vascular calcification associated with several human
diseases and outlined the most common therapeutic approaches to prevent its progression.
Keywords: Extracellular matrix mineralization, vascular calcification, mineralization inhibitors, animal models.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport