Context: Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) maturation failure remains a clinical dilemma, and its pathobiology is largely unclear. Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a complication of chronic renal failure that is associated with cardiovascular disease. While parathyroid hormone (PTH) has a prosclerotic effect on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), its role in AVF maturation failure remained unknown. Objective: This work aimed to investigate the association between plasma PTH and AVF maturation. Methods: Patients receiving AVF creation were enrolled retrospectively. A mouse model of secondary hyperparathyroidism and aortocaval AVF was used to investigate the effect of PTH on an AVF lesion. A cell model of VSMCs treated with PTH in a pressurized culture system was used to disclose the signaling pathway underlying the effect of PTH on an AVF lesion. Results: In patients receiving AVF creation, higher PTH was associated with an increased risk for maturation failure. In a mouse model, vascular wall thickness and myofibroblasts of AVF significantly increased with higher PTH. When the same mice were treated with cinacalcet, AVF lesions were attenuated by suppression of PTH. A cell model showed that PTH increased the marker of myofibroblasts, integrin β6 subunit (ITGB6), via the phosphorylated protein kinase B pathway. Finally, in the same model of mice AVF, higher PTH also increased the expression of ITGB6 in the smooth muscle layer of AVF, suggesting the transition to myofibroblast. Conclusion: Overall, our results suggest that higher PTH increased the risk of AVF maturation failure through increasing the transition of VSMCs to myofibroblasts. Lowering PTH may be a strategy to enhance AVF maturation.
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