Donghyun Lee, a,
Unlike the traditional beliefs, there are mounting evidences suggesting that ectopic mineral depositions, including vascular calcification are mostly active processes, many times resembling that of the bone mineralization. Numbers of agents are involved in the differentiation of certain subpopulation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) into the osteoblast-like entity, and the activation and initiation of extracellular matrix ossification process. On the other hand, there are factors as well, that prevent such differentiation and ectopic calcium phosphate formation. In normal physiological environments, activities of such procalcific and anticalcific regulatory factors are in harmony, prohibiting abnormal calcification from occurring. However, in certain pathophysiological conditions, such as atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and diabetes, such balances are altered, resulting in abnormal ectopic mineral deposition. Understanding the factors that regulate the formation and inhibition of ectopic mineral formation would be beneficial in the development of tissue engineering strategies for prevention and/or treatment of such soft-tissue calcification. Current review focuses on the factors that seem to be clinically relevant and/or could be useful in developing future tissue regeneration strategies. Clinical utilities and implications of such factors are also discussed.
• Types of vascular calcification processes. • Inducers of vascular calcification. • Inhibitors of vascular calcifications. • Clinical utility for vascular calcification therapy. • Implications for the development of new tissue engineering strategies.