Research team

Pathophysiology

Development of effective treatments for vascular media calcification, a major clinical issue in our ageing population. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Vascular calcification or the deposition of calcium-phosphate crystals in the arteries has a severe impact on morbidity/mortality in elderly and patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes mellitus (DM) by inducing severe cardiovascular events. In our ageing society (CKD and DM are ageing diseases), treatment for vascular calcification is warranted. However, current therapies only consist of controlling risk factors and therefore effective therapies to prevent/cure vascular calcification are lacking. For this reason we aim to investigate new treatment strategies that directly inhibit arterial calcification in two ways (i) directly interfering with crystal formation in the vessel wall and (ii) directly targeting the predominant cells in arterial calcification; by targeting respectively cell receptor independent and dependent effects of extracellular nucleotides on the vascular calcification process. Treatments will not only be tested for their ability to prevent vascular calcifications but also to attenuate the progression of pre-existing calcifications as most patients present themselves with a given degree of vascular calcification. Since vascular calcification shares many features with the bone formation process it is furthermore important to test new therapies inhibiting vascular calcifications for negative effects on the bone. In conclusion, the aim of this project is to develop effective therapies for vascular calcification without side-effects on the bone

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)