iScience. 2023 Oct 29;26(11):108360. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108360. eCollection 2023 Nov 17.


Vascular calcification is a hallmark of atherosclerotic disease and serves as a strong predictor and risk factor for cardiovascular events. Growing evidence suggests that autophagy may play a protective role in early atherosclerosis. The precise effects of autophagy on VSMC-mediated calcification remain unknown. In this study, we utilized multi-omic profiling to investigate impaired autophagy at the transcriptional level as a key driver of VSMC calcification. Our findings revealed that impaired autophagy is an essential determinant of VSMC calcification. We observed that an osteogenic environment affects the open chromatin status of VSMCs, compromising the transcriptional activation of autophagy initiation genes. In vivo experiments involve pharmacological and genetic activation of autophagy using mouse models of spontaneous large (Mgp-/-) and small (Abcc6-/-) artery calcification. Taken together, these data advance our mechanistic understanding of vascular calcification and provide important insights for a broad range of cardiovascular diseases involving VSMC phenotype switch.

PMID:38033629 | PMC:PMC10681952 | DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2023.108360