CD163+ Macrophages restrain Vascular Calcification Research Published
A CVPath study was recently published in the JCI Insight online magazine. This research spanned several years with post-doc fellows Atsushi Sakamoto and Rika Kawakami contributing equally to the study.
The presence of vascular calcification (VC) has been recognized in atherosclerotic coronary arteries for more than 100 years. Calcification suggests the presence of atherosclerotic disease and correlates with disease burden (1, 2). VC involves the deposition and crystallization of calcium/phosphate in the form of hydroxyapatite within the arterial wall. This is a highly regulated process with cells of the vascular wall assuming an osteoblast-like phenotype, which upregulates specific transcription factors, resulting in expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) and incorporation of hydroxyapatite crystals (3, 4). Yet there are still important aspects of VC that are not completely understood. One of these is the complex relationship of VC with plaque instability. Coronary calcium is greater in stable than unstable plaques, and there is a negative correlation between necrotic core (NC) and calcification areas (5, 6). How and why this divergence in the process of calcification occurs remains poorly understood.
You can find the full study published here: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/154922