Sodium-Dependent Phosphate Cotransporters and Phosphate-Induced Calcification of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
Redundant Roles for PiT-1 and PiT-2
Objective—Elevated serum phosphate has emerged as a major risk factor for vascular calcification. The sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, PiT-1, was previously shown to be required for phosphate-induced osteogenic differentiation and calcification of cultured human vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but its importance in vascular calcification in vivo and the potential role of its homologue, PiT-2, have not been determined. We investigated the in vivo requirement for PiT-1 in vascular calcification using a mouse model of chronic kidney disease and the potential compensatory role of PiT-2 using in vitro knockdown and overexpression strategies.
Approach and Results—Mice with targeted deletion of PiT-1 in VSMCs were generated (PiT-1Δsm). PiT-1 mRNA levels were undetectable, whereas PiT-2 mRNA levels were increased 2-fold in the vascular aortic media of PiT-1Δsm compared with PiT-1flox/flox control. When arterial medial calcification was induced in PiT-1Δsm and PiT-1flox/flox by chronic kidney disease followed by dietary phosphate loading, the degree of aortic calcification was not different between genotypes, suggesting compensation by PiT-2. Consistent with this possibility, VSMCs isolated from PiT-1Δsm mice had no PiT-1 mRNA expression, increased PiT-2 mRNA levels, and no difference in sodium-dependent phosphate uptake or phosphate-induced matrix calcification compared with PiT-1flox/flox VSMCs. Knockdown of PiT-2 decreased phosphate uptake and phosphate-induced calcification of PiT-1Δsm VSMCs. Furthermore, overexpression of PiT-2 restored these parameters in human PiT-1–deficient VSMCs.
Conclusions—PiT-2 can mediate phosphate uptake and calcification of VSMCs in the absence of PiT-1. Mechanistically, PiT-1 and PiT-2 seem to serve redundant roles in phosphate-induced calcification of VSMCs.
- Received March 14, 2013.
- Accepted August 4, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.