Suppression of Wnt signaling and osteogenic changes in vascular smooth muscle cells by eicosapentaenoic acid

Yukihiro Saito, Kazufumi Nakamura, Daiji Miura, Kei Yunoki, Toru Miyoshi, Masashi Yoshida, Norifumi Kawakita, Tomonari Kimura, Megumi Kondo, Toshihiro Sarashina, Satoshi Akagi, Atsuyuki Watanabe, Nobuhiro Nishii, Hiroshi Morita, Hiroshi Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular medial calcification is often observed in patients with arteriosclerosis. It is also associated with systolic hypertension, wide pulse pressure, and fluctuation of blood pressure, which results in cardiovascular events. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has been shown to suppress vascular calcification in previous animal experiments. We investigated the inhibitory effects of EPA on Wnt signaling, which is one of the important signaling pathways involved in vascular calcification. Intake of food containing 5% EPA resulted in upregulation of the mRNA expression of Klotho, an intrinsic inhibitor of Wnt signaling, in the kidneys of wild-type mice. Expression levels of β-catenin, an intracellular signal transducer in the Wnt signaling pathway, were increased in the aortas of Klotho mutant (kl/kl) mice compared to the levels in the aortas of wild-type mice. Wnt3a or BIO, a GSK-3 inhibitor that activates β-catenin signaling, upregulated mRNA levels of AXIN2 and LEF1, Wnt signaling marker genes, and RUNX2 and BMP4, early osteogenic genes, in human aorta smooth muscle cells. EPA suppressed the upregulation of AXIN2 and BMP4. The effect of EPA was cancelled by T0070907, a PPARγ inhibitor. The results suggested that EPA could suppress vascular calcification via the inhibition of Wnt signaling in osteogenic vascular smooth muscle cells via PPARγ activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number858
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2017


  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Vascular calcification
  • Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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