Warfarin accelerated vascular calcification and worsened cardiac dysfunction in remnant kidney mice.
J Chin Med Assoc. 2018 04 ;81(4):324-330. Epub 2018 Feb 13. PMID: 29395943
BACKGROUND: Vascular calcification is highly prevalent in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and is a significant risk factor for future cardiovascular events and death. Warfarin use results in dysfunction of matrix Gla protein, an inhibitor of vascular calcification. However, the effect of warfarin on vascular calcification in patients with ESRD is still not well characterized. Thus we investigated whether arterial calcification can be accelerated by warfarin treatment both in vitro and in vivo using a mouse remnant kidney model.
METHODS: Human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC) were cultured in medium supplemented with warfarin and phosphate to investigate the potential role of this drug in osteoblast transdifferentiation. For in vivo study, adult male C57BL/6 mice underwent 5/6 nephrectomy were treated with active vitamin D3 plus warfarin to determine the extent of vascular calcification and parameters of cardiovascular function.
RESULTS: We found that the expressions of Runx2 and osteocalcin in HASMC were markedly enhanced in the culture medium containing warfarin and high phosphate concentration. Warfarin induced calcification of cultured HASMC in the presence of high phosphate levels, and this effect is inhibited by vitamin K2. Severe aortic calcification and reduced left ventricular ejection fractions were also noted in 5/6 nephrectomy mice treated with warfarin and active vitamin D3.
CONCLUSION: Warfarin treatment contributes to the accelerated vascular calcification in animal models of advanced chronic kidney disease. Clinicians should therefore be aware of the profound risk of warfarin use on vascular calcification and cardiac dysfunction in patients with ESRD and atrial fibrillation.