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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 679238, 8 pages
Research Article

A Lindera obtusiloba Extract Blocks Calcium-/Phosphate-Induced Transdifferentiation and Calcification of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Interferes with Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and Metalloproteinase-9 and NF-B

1Department of Pediatric Nephrology and Center for Cardiovascular Research, Charité-University Medicine, Campus Virchow Clinic, 10115 Berlin, Germany
2Department of Beauty Design, Human Environmental Sciences College, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea

Received 24 March 2015; Revised 10 July 2015; Accepted 13 July 2015

Academic Editor: Roja Rahimi

Copyright © 2015 Christian Freise et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vascular calcifications bear the risk for cardiovascular complications and have a high prevalence among patients with chronic kidney disease. Central mediators of vascular calcifications are vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). They transdifferentiate into a synthetic/osteoblast-like phenotype, which is induced, for example, by elevated levels of calcium and phosphate (Ca/P) due to a disturbed mineral balance. An aqueous extract from Lindera obtusiloba (LOE) is known to exert antifibrotic and antitumor effects or to interfere with the differentiation of preadipocytes. Using murine and rat VSMC cell lines, we here investigated whether LOE also protects VSMC from Ca/P-induced calcification. Indeed, LOE effectively blocked Ca/P-induced calcification of VSMC as shown by decreased VSMC mineralization and secretion of alkaline phosphatase. In parallel, mRNA expression of the calcification markers osterix and osteocalcin was reduced. Vice versa, the Ca/P-induced loss of the VSMC differentiation markers alpha smooth muscle actin and smooth muscle protein 22-alpha was rescued by LOE. Further, LOE blocked Ca/P-induced mRNA expressions and secretions of matrix metalloproteinases-2/-9 and activation of NF-B, which are known contributors to vascular calcification. In conclusion, LOE interferes with the Ca/P-induced transdifferentiation/calcification of VSMC. Thus, LOE should be further analysed regarding a potential complementary treatment option for cardiovascular diseases including vascular calcifications.