Research Groups

Calcium Metabolism Vascular Calcification

Scientific Production and Human Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mariano Rodríguez Portillo

Calcium Metabolism Vascular Calcification

Scientific Activity

This group is focused on different aspects of calcium metabolism and vascular calcification. Our primary area of research is centred on the study of the pathogenetic mechanisms of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with renal failure. In this sense, this group investigates the parathyroid function, both at cellular and molecular level (PTH synthesis and secretion and cell proliferation) of normal and hyperplastic parathyroid glands.

More recently, this group has incorporated into its research activity both in vivo (experimental models with rats) and in vitro studies (vascular smooth muscle cells) of the mechanisms underlying the development of vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease. Thus, in the context of vascular calcification this group is centred on analyzing the role of different diets (with different contents of phosphorus, calcitriol, micronutrients such as magnesium or calcium, calorie diets ...) in FGF23 regulation and in cardiovascular disease progression.

This group has opened a new line of research centred on the study of the involvement of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in vacular calcification. Basing on a stem cell-based approach, this group analyzes the signalling pathways by which vascular calcification progresses. Mesenchymal stem cells are also used to investigate how the chronic kidney disease or its treatments may affect bone regarding the formation of new osteoblasts. From this line also derives the study of the regulation of bone production of FGF23. The lines of research group listed above involve the study of gene expression of vitamin D, calcium or FGF23 receptors, and the analysis of different intracellular signaling pathways as Wnt/b-ca-catenin, Nocth, Erk, epigenetic modifications, measuring of parameters indicative of osteogenic transdifferentiation, inflammation.

Research derived from each of these lines can lead to the proposal and use of new therapeutic targets for preventing and reversing vascular calcification and associated complications.


Calcium, phosphorus, metabolism, parathyroid, calcification, uremia. Mineral metabolism, parathyroid hormone, HPTH2º, vascular calcification, renal failure, VDR, CaR. Mesenchymal stem cells, Wnt / beta-catenin