Low calcium (Ca) intake is the one of risk factors for both bone loss and medial elastocalcinosis in an estrogen deficiency state. To examine the effect of different amounts of Ca intake on the relationship between bone mass alteration and medial elastocalcinosis, 6-wk-old female SD rats were randomized into ovariectomized (OVX) control or OVX treated with vitamin D3 plus nicotine injection (VDN) groups. The OVX treated with VDN group was then divided into 5 groups depending on the different Ca content in their diet, 0.01%, 0.1%, 0.6%, 1.2%, and 2.4% Ca intakes. After 8 wk of experimentation, the low Ca intake groups of 0.01% and 0.1% showed a low bone mineral density (BMD) and bone properties significantly different from those of the other groups, whereas the high Ca intake groups of 1.2% and 2.4% showed no difference compared with the OVX control. Only in the 0.01% Ca intake group, a significantly higher Ca content in the thoracic artery was found compared with that of the OVX control. Arterial tissues of the 0.01% Ca intake group showed an increase of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) activity, a marker of bone mineralization, associated with arterial Ca content. However, the high Ca intake did not affect arterial Ca content nor arterial BAP activity. These results suggested that a low Ca intake during periods of rapid bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency might be one possible cause for the complication of both bone loss and medial elastocalcinosis.
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