Effects of teriparatide on morphology of aortic calcification in aged hyperlipidemic mice

Jeffrey J. Hsu, Jinxiu Lu, Soban Umar, Jason T. Lee, Rajan P. Kulkarni, Yichen Ding, Chih Chiang Chang, Tzung K. Hsiai, Akishige Hokugo, Ioannis Gkouveris, Sotirios Tetradis, Ichiro Nishimura, Linda L. Demer, Yin Tintut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Calcific aortic vasculopathy correlates with bone loss in osteoporosis in an age-independent manner. Prior work suggests that teriparatide, the bone anabolic treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis, may inhibit the onset of aortic calcification. Whether teriparatide affects the progression of preexisting aortic calcification, widespread among this patient population, is unknown. Female apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were aged for over 1 yr to induce aortic calcification, treated for 4.5 wk with daily injections of control vehicle (PBS), 40 µg/kg teriparatide (PTH40), or 400 µg/kg teriparatide (PTH400), and assayed for aortic calcification by microcomputed tomography (microCT) before and after treatment. In a followup cohort, aged female apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were treated with PBS or PTH400 and assayed for aortic calcification by serial microCT and micropositron emission tomography. In both cohorts, aortic calcification detected by microCT progressed similarly in all groups. Mean aortic 18F-NaF incorporation, detected by serial micropositron emission tomography, increased in the PBS-treated group (+14 ± 5%). In contrast,18F-NaF incorporation decreased in the PTH400-treated group (-33 ± 20%, P = 0.03). Quantitative histochemical analysis by Alizarin red staining revealed a lower mineral surface area index in the PTH400-treated group compared with the PBS-treated group (P = 0.04). Furthermore, Masson trichrome staining showed a significant increase in collagen deposition in the left ventricular myocardium of mice that received PTH400 [2.1 ± 0.6% vs. control mice (0.5 ± 0.1%), P = 0.02]. In summary, although teriparatide may not affect the calcium mineral content of aortic calcification, it reduces18F-NaF uptake in calcified lesions, suggesting the possibility that it may reduce mineral surface area with potential impact on plaque stability. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Parathyroid hormone regulates bone mineralization and may also affect vascular calcification, which is an important issue, given that its active fragment, teriparatide, is widely used for the treatment of osteoporosis. To determine whether teriparatide alters vascular calcification, we imaged aortic calcification in mice treated with teriparatide and control mice. Although teriparatide did not affect the calcium content of cardiovascular deposits, it reduced their fluoride tracer uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1203-H1213
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic calcification
  • Fibrosis
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Teriparatide
  • Vascular calcification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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