Author(s): Pirro M, Manfredelli MR, Schillaci G, Helou RS, Bagaglia F,
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Ectopic artery calcification has been documented in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, in whom an imbalance in the number of circulating osteoprogenitor cells (OPCs) has been identified. Circulating OPCs form calcified nodules in vitro; however, it remains unknown whether an association exists between the number of circulating OPCs and aortic calcifications. We investigated the relationship between OPCs and aortic calcifications in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: The number of circulating OPCs was quantified by FACS analysis in 50 osteoporotic postmenopausal women. OPCs were defined as CD15-/alkaline-phosphatase(AP)+ cells coexpressing or not CD34. Participants underwent measurement of markers of bone metabolism, bone mineral density and abdominal aortic calcium (AAC) by 64-slice computed tomography. Patients with AAC were older, had lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels and higher circulating CD15-/AP+/CD34- cells than those without AAC. Significant correlates of AAC included age (rho = 0.38 p = 0.006), calcium (rho = 0.35 p = 0.01), 25(OH)vitamin D (rho = -0.31, p = 0.03) and the number of CD15-/AP+/CD34- cells (rho = 0.55 p < 0.001). In regression analyses, the log-transformed number of CD15-/AP+/CD34- cells was associated with the presence (OR = 6.45, 95\% CI 1.03-40.1, p = 0.04) and severity (β = 0.43, p < 0.001) of AAC, independent of age, 25(OH)vitamin D, calcium and other potential confounders. Patients with low 25(OH)vitamin D and high CD15-/AP+/CD34- cells had higher median AAC than other patients (1927/μL, 862-2714/μL vs 147/μL, 0-1665/μL, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: In women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, the number of circulating CD15-/AP+/CD34- cells is significantly associated with increased aortic calcifications, that appear to be correlated also with reduced 25(OH)vitamin D levels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis