Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Simpson, Chartrisa LaShan

Committee Member

Elder, Steven H.

Committee Member

Liao, Jun

Committee Member

Howell, George Eli, III

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Medial calcification refers to mineral deposition in the middle layer of arteries. This mineralization is common in chronic kidney disease patients and causes an increased chance of cardiovascular complications. Calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, is often administered to these patients to treat an associated condition, secondary hyperparathyroidism. Unfortunately, calcitriol treatment may promote vascular calcification due to increasing serum calcium and phosphate. We examined the effects of calcitriol supplementation on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) calcification, through atomic absorption, scanning electron microscopy, and western blot analysis. Additionally, we examined the effects of the combinations of calcitriol, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), and klotho. We determined that calcitriol supplementation alone increased calcification but was not associated with a transition towards an osteoblast-like phenotype. On the other hand, the combination of calcitriol and FGF-23 caused a decrease in calcification, but this decrease was attenuated with the further addition of klotho.