Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis often occur together, suggesting an association between CVD and bone loss. Similarly, the correlation of bone loss, atherosclerosis, and aortic calcification, especially in patients with chronic kidney disease, exemplifies a bone-vessel connection. In this issue of the JCI, Santhanam et al. investigated the role of the angiogenesis factor platelet-derived growth factor–BB (PDGF-BB) in vascular stiffening. Serum levels of bone-derived PDGF-BB differed between young and aged mice, and in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) compared with those fed normal chow. Experiments with genetic models led the authors to conclude that bone-derived PDGF-BB mediates the hallmark arterial stiffening of aging and metabolic stress. Notably, excessive preosteoclast-derived PDGF-BB production during aging inhibited osteoblastic bone formation and increased circulating PDGF-BB, which in turn, accelerated vascular stiffness. These findings suggest that modifying circulating PDGF-BB levels may benefit patients with CVD, osteoporosis, and other age-related diseases.
Mone Zaidi, Daria Lizneva, Tony Yuen