Undercarboxylated osteocalcin is associated with vascular function in female older adults but does not influence vascular function in male rabbit carotid artery ex vivo

Alexander Tacey, Cassandra Smith, Mary N. Woessner, Paul Chubb, Christopher Neil, Gustavo Duque, Alan Hayes, Anthony Zulli, Itamar Levinger

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Abstract

Background There are conflicting reports on the association of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) in cardiovascular disease development, including endothelial function and hypertension. We tested whether ucOC is related to blood pressure and endothelial function in older adults, and if ucOC directly affects endothelial-mediated vasodilation in the carotid artery of rabbits. Methods In older adults, ucOC, blood pressure, pulse wave velocity (PWV) and brachial artery flowmediated dilation (BAFMD) were measured (n = 38, 26 post-menopausal women and 12 men, mean age 73 ± 0.96). The vasoactivity of the carotid artery was assessed in male New Zealand White rabbits following a four-week normal or atherogenic diet using perfusion myography. An ucOC dose response curve (0.3-45 ng/ml) was generated following incubation of the arteries for 2-hours in either normal or high glucose conditions. Results ucOC levels were higher in normotensive older adults compared to those with stage 2 hypertension (p < 0.05), particularly in women (p < 0.01). In all participants, higher ucOC was associated with lower PWV (p < 0.05), but not BAFMD (p > 0.05). In rabbits, ucOC at any dose did not alter vasoactivity of the carotid artery, either following a normal or an atherogenic diet (p > 0.05). Conclusion Increased ucOC is associated with lower blood pressure and increased arterial stiffness, particularly in post-menopausal women. However, ucOC administration has no direct shortterm effect on endothelial function in rabbit arteries. Future studies should explore whether treatment with ucOC, in vivo, has direct or indirect effects on blood vessel function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242774
JournalPLoS One
Volume15
Issue number11 November
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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