Mississippi State University
Simpson, Chartrisa L.
Elder, Steven H.
Ross, Matthew K.
Burch, Reuben F.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (M.S.)
James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Every 37 seconds, someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease. Vascular calcification is one of the underlying causes of these fatal events. Medial calcification develops following arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Medial calcification is characterized by the deposition of hydroxyapatite in the medial layer of the arteries after normal vascular smooth muscle cells undergo a phenotypic switch to resemble osteoblast-like cells. It is hypothesized that this switch is caused by the wingless related (WNT)-Signaling pathway. The WNT-Signaling pathway, upon activation, causes the upregulation of osteogenic markers for the development of osteoblast-like cells. Current treatments alleviate consequences of calcification but do not address the disease. Due to a lack of cures for calcification, a novel therapy for this disease is overdue. By studying human aortic smooth muscle cells and confirming the role of WNT-Signaling as it relates to calcification, a possible therapeutic target for calcification can be identified.
McNeel, KarLee, "Understanding vascular calcification through the lens of canonical WNT signaling" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 5764.