The miR-182/SORT1 axis regulates vascular smooth muscle cell calcification in vitro and in vivo

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Arterial calcification is a common feature of cardiovascular disease. Sortilin is involved in the development of atherosclerosis, but the specific mechanism is unclear. In this study, we established calcification models in vivo and in vitro by using vitamin D3 and β-glycerophosphate, respectively. In vivo, the expression of SORT1 was up-regulated and the expression of miR-182 was down-regulated in calcified arterial tissues. Meanwhile there was a negative correlation between SORT1 expression and miR-182 levels. In vitro, downregulating SORT1 expression using shRNA inhibited β-glycerophosphoric induced vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) calcification. Moreover, reduced sortilin levels followed transfection of miR-182 mimics, whereas there was a significant increase in sortilin levels after transfection of miR-182 inhibitors. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed that SORT1 is the direct target of miR-182. Our study suggests that SORT1 plays a vital role in the development of arterial calcification and is regulated by miR-182.

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