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Author Notes:

Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: W. C. O'Neill, Emory Univ., Renal Div., WMB 338, 1639 Pierce Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322 (e-mail: woneill@emory.edu).


Research Funding:

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants HL070892 (R. L. Sutliff) and DK069681 (W. C. O’Neill) and an Amgen Junior Faculty Award (K. A. Lomashvili).


  • vascular contractility
  • renal failure
  • vascular relaxation

Effect of medial calcification on vascular function in uremia


Journal Title:

American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology


Volume 301, Number 1


, Pages F78-F83

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The contribution of medial calcification to vascular dysfunction in renal failure is unknown. Vascular function was measured ex vivo in control, noncalcified uremic, and calcified uremic aortas from rats with adenine-induced renal failure. Plasma urea was 16 ± 4, 93 ± 14, and 110 ± 25 mg/dl, and aortic calcium content was 27 ± 4, 29 ± 2, and 4,946 ± 1,616 nmol/mg dry wt, respectively, in the three groups. Maximal contraction by phenylephrine (PE) or KCl was reduced 53 and 63% in uremic aortas, and sensitivity to KCl but not PE was increased. Maximal relaxation to acetylcholine was impaired in uremic aortas (30 vs. 65%), and sensitivity to nitroprusside was also reduced, indicating some impairment of endothelium-independent relaxation as well. None of these parameters differed between calcified and noncalcified uremic aortas. However, aortic compliance was reduced in calcified aortas, ranging from 17 to 61% depending on the severity of calcification. We conclude that uremic vascular calcification, even when not severe, significantly reduces arterial compliance. Vascular smooth muscle and endothelial function are altered in renal failure but are not affected by medial calcification, even when severe.

Copyright information:

© 2011 the American Physiological Society

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