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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Warfarin causes rapid calcification of the elastic lamellae in rat arteries and heart valves.

High doses of warfarin cause focal calcification of the elastic lamellae in the media of major arteries and in aortic heart valves in the rat. Aortic calcification was first seen after 2 weeks of warfarin treatment and progressively increased in density at 3, 4, and 5 weeks of treatment. By 5 weeks, the highly focal calcification of major arteries could be seen on radiographs and by visual inspection of the artery. The calcification of arteries induced by warfarin is similar to that seen in the matrix Gla protein (MGP)-deficient mouse, which suggests that warfarin induces artery calcification by inhibiting gamma-carboxylation of MGP and thereby inactivating the putative calcification-inhibitory activity of the protein. Warfarin treatment markedly increased the levels of MGP mRNA and protein in calcifying arteries and decreased the level of MGP in serum. Warfarin treatment did not affect bone growth, overall weight gain, or serum calcium and phosphorus levels, and, because of the concurrent administration of vitamin K, prothrombin times and hematocrits were normal. The results indicate that the improved warfarin plus vitamin K treatment protocol developed in this study should provide a useful model to investigate the role of MGP in preventing calcification of arteries and heart valves.[1]


  1. Warfarin causes rapid calcification of the elastic lamellae in rat arteries and heart valves. Price, P.A., Faus, S.A., Williamson, M.K. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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