Calcification appears to be one of the causes of increasing vascular stiffness with age, a form of functional deterioration in blood vessels that contributes to numerous age-related conditions. Here, researchers investigate means to remove this calcium:
Elastin-specific medial vascular calcification, termed "Monckeberg's sclerosis," has been recognized as a major risk factor for various cardiovascular events. We hypothesize that chelating agents, such as disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA), and sodium thiosulfate (STS) might reverse elastin calcification by directly removing calcium from calcified tissues into soluble calcium complexes.
We assessed the chelating ability of EDTA, DTPA, and STS on removal of calcium from hydroxyapatite (HA) powder, calcified porcine aortic elastin, and calcified human aorta in vitro. We show that both EDTA and DTPA could effectively remove calcium from HA and calcified tissues, while STS was not effective. The tissue architecture was not altered during chelation. In the animal model of aortic elastin-specific calcification, we further show that local periadventitial delivery of EDTA loaded in to nanoparticles regressed elastin-specific calcification in the aorta. Collectively, the data indicate that elastin-specific medial vascular calcification could be reversed by chelating agents.