Vascular calcification (VC) is highly prevalent in aging, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). VC is a strong predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the CKD population. Complex pathological mechanisms are involved in the development of VC, including osteochondrogenic differentiation and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells, instability and release of extracellular vesicles loaded calcium and phosphate, and elastin degradation. Elevated serum phosphate is a late manifestation of CKD, and has been shown to accelerate mineral deposition in both the vessel wall and heart valves. α-Klotho and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) are emerging factors in CKD-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) and are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of uremic VC. There are discordant reports regarding the biomedical effects of FGF23 on VC. In contrast, mounting evidence supports a well-supported protective role for α-Klotho on VC. Further studies are warranted to elucidate potential roles of FGF23 and α-Klotho in VC and to determine where and how they are synthesized in normal and disease conditions. A thorough systemic evaluation of the biomedical interplay of phosphate, FGF23, and α-Klotho may potentially lead to new therapeutic options for patients with CKD-MBD.
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