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Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Vol. 18 (2011) No. 7 P 551-559




Vascular calcification has been associated with the incidence of cardiovascular events and thus there has been interest in better understanding its pathogenesis. Early theories considered vascular calcification to be a passive process which occurred as a non-specific response to tissue injury or necrosis. More recent theories propose vascular calcification results from loss of molecular inhibitors or via an active cell mediated process. The origin of the cells responsible for vascular calcification is controversial and may vary in different sites and patients. Calcification has been reported as result of apoptosis or death of vascular smooth muscle cells for example. One novel source of cells controlling vascular calcification is from the bone marrow. A circulating immature bone marrow derived population has been identified and a small subset of this bone marrow population has been reported to possess bone forming properties in vitro and hence termed osteo-progenitors. This article reviews evidence supporting the contribution of these naive bone marrow derived circulating osteo-progenitor cells in vascular calcification.

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