E056 – Metabolic homeostasis and vascular calcification

Objectives and lines of research


Vascular calcification, the pathological calcification of cardiovascular structures, is one of the most important factors determining patients’ mortality around the world. Although different mechanisms on pathogenesis of vascular calcification have been proposed, our understanding of the calcification pathogenesis is far from complete. However, in recent years, some risk factors are emerging, including elevated serum phosphorus and defective synthesis of pyrophosphate. In our laboratory, we are interested in the role of phosphate and pyrophosphate homeostasis in vascular calcification. Our laboratory aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control vascular calcification in the arterial wall in aging, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and accelerated aging (Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome). We will also interest in evaluating new markers and risk factors for vascular calcification, which should help in the design of new diagnostic methods and new therapeutic strategies against this devastating disease. Given that vascular calcification is a problem with a remarkably high health and socioeconomic impact on society, our research will improve the health

Lines of research

  • “Progeria and vascular calcification: diet and treatments.” PROGERIA RESEARCH FOUNDATION (USA).

  • Metabolic homeostasis and vascular calcification CONSOLIDACIÓN 2022 – PROXECTOS DE EXCELENCIA. XUNTA DE GALICIA

  • “Chronic Kidney Disease and Vascular Calcification”. Fundación SENEFRO y Sociedad Española de Nefrología (S.E.N.)

  • “Vascular calcification associated with diseases of aging”. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

  • Aging and vascular calcification: diagnosis, markers and treatment. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.


Research team

Villa Bellosta, Ricardo

Predoctoral staff
Flores Rico, Alicia
Lago Vallejo, Belinda María
Martínez Rodríguez, José Emilio


  • Villa-Bellosta R. ATP-based therapy prevents vascular calcification and extends longevity in a mouse model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Nov 19;116(47):23698-23704. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1910972116.
  • Villa-Bellosta R, Hernández-Martínez E, Mérida-Herrero E, González-Parra E. Impact of acetate- or citrate-acidified bicarbonate dialysate on ex vivo aorta wall calcification. Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 6;9(1):11374. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47934-7.
  • Villa-Bellosta R, Mahillo-Fernández I, Ortíz A, González-Parra E. Questioning the Safety of Calcidiol in Hemodialysis Patients. Nutrients. 2019 Apr 26;11(5):959. doi: 10.3390/nu11050959.
  • Villa-Bellosta R. Dietary magnesium supplementation improves lifespan in a mouse model of progeria EMBO Mol Med. 2020 Oct 7;12(10):e12423. doi: 10.15252/emmm.202012423.
  • Villa-Bellosta R. New insights into endogenous mechanisms of protection against arterial calcification Atherosclerosis. 2020 Aug;306:68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.03.007.
  • Villa-Bellosta R. Vascular Calcification: Key Roles of Phosphate and PyrophosphateInt J Mol Sci. 2021 Dec 17;22(24):13536. doi: 10.3390/ijms222413536.
  • Villa-Bellosta R. Role of the extracellular ATP/pyrophosphate metabolism cycle in vascular calcification. Purinergic Signal. 2022 May 5. doi: 10.1007/s11302-022-09867-1.
  • Hamczyk MR, Villa-Bellosta R, Quesada V, Gonzalo P, Vidak S, Nevado RM, Andrés-Manzano MJ, Misteli T, López-Otín C, Andrés V. Progerin accelerates atherosclerosis by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress in vascular smooth muscle cellsEMBO Mol Med. 2019 Apr;11(4):e9736. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201809736.