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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8968523, 11 pages
Research Article

The Involvement of Notch1-RBP-Jk/Msx2 Signaling Pathway in Aortic Calcification of Diabetic Nephropathy Rats

1Department of Nephrology, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China
2Department of Nephrology, Luzhou People’s Hospital, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Santao Ou

Received 21 July 2017; Revised 27 September 2017; Accepted 26 October 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Mark Yorek

Copyright © 2017 Caipan Gong 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.


Background. This study explored the changes in expression of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) markers and osteogenic markers, as well as the involvement of Notch1-RBP-Jk/Msx2 pathway in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy (DN) with vascular calcification. Methods. A rat model of DN with concomitant vascular calcification was created by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin followed by administration of vitamin D3 and nicotine. Biochemical analysis and histological examination of aortic tissue were performed. VSMC markers and osteogenic markers as well as target molecules in Notch1-RBP-Jk/Msx2 were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analysis. Results. Serum calcium and phosphorus levels were significantly increased in model rats as compared to that in normal controls. Diabetic rats with vascular calcification exhibited mineral deposits in aortic intima-media accompanied by decreased expression of VSMC markers and increased expression of osteogenic markers. Notch1, RBP-Jk, Msx2, Jagged1, and N1-ICD were barely expressed in the aortic wall of normal rats. In contrast, these were significantly increased in the model group at all time points (8, 12, and 16 weeks), as compared to that in the normal rats. Conclusion. Activation of the Notch1-RBP-Jk/Msx2 signaling pathway may be involved in the development and progression of vascular calcification in DN.