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Publication Detail
Electron microscopy characterization of minerals formed in vitro by human bone cells and vascular smooth muscle cells
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Tsolaki E, Didierlaurent L, Müller E, Rottmar M, Latif N, Chester A, Herrmann I, Bertazzo S
  • Publication date:
    05/06/2019
  • Status:
    Published
Abstract
Soft tissue mineralization has been found to be a major component of diseases such as aortic valve stenosis and rheumatic heart disease. Cardiovascular mineralization has been suggested to follow mechanisms similar to those of bone formation with several cell culture models been developed over the years to provide mechanistic insights. These cell models have been characterized by a wide range of biochemical and molecular methods, which identified the presence of osteogenic markers and bone-like cells. However, there is a surprisingly small number of studies where the mineral formed in these cell culture models has been characterized by physico-chemical methods, and even fewer studies have compared this mineral to the one produced by bone cells in cultures. Here we investigated the morphology and composition of the minerals formed in cell cultures of vascular smooth muscle cells and bone cells. Electron microscopy and traditional cell mineralization assays were applied, revealing that vascular cells are indeed able to form calcified nodules of elemental composition similar to bone, however with different morphology. Comparison of morphologies of the two minerals to that found in cardiovascular tissue shows that some of tissue calcification resembles the calcified fibers produced by bone cells in vitro . These results suggest that the characterization of the mineral is of utmost importance and its morphology and chemical properties can contribute an important piece of information in the comprehensive analysis of soft tissue mineralization mechanisms, both in in vitro cell culture as well as in clinical samples.
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