(1/1310) Distinct and combined vascular effects of ACE blockade and HMG-CoA reductase inhibition in hypertensive subjects.

Hypercholesterolemia and hypertension are frequently associated with elevated sympathetic activity. Both are independent cardiovascular risk factors and both affect endothelium-mediated vasodilation. To identify the effects of cholesterol-lowering and antihypertensive treatments on vascular reactivity and vasodilative capacity, we studied 30 hypercholesterolemic hypertensive subjects. They received placebo for 4 weeks, either enalapril or simvastatin for 14 weeks, and, finally, both medications for an additional 14 weeks. Postischemic forearm blood flow (MFBF) and minimal vascular resistance (mFVR) were used as indices of vasodilative capacity and structural vascular damage, respectively. Total (resting-stress-recovery phases) cardiovascular (blood pressure [BP] and heart rate [HR]) and regional hemodynamic (FBF and FVR) reactivity to stressful stimuli were calculated as area-under-the-curve (auc) (valuextime). Compared with baseline levels, simvastatin reduced total (TOT-C) and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) (1.27 mmol/L, P<0.001 and 1.33 mmol/L, P<0.001, respectively). Enalapril also reduced TOT-C and LDL-C (0.6 mmol/L, P<0.001 and 0.58 mmol/L, P<0.05, respectively). MFBF was increased substantially by both treatments (P<0.001). Enalapril had a greater effect (-1.7 arbitrary units (AU), P<0.001) than simvastatin (-0.6 AU, P<0.05) on mFVR. During stress, FBF increased more with enalapril (4.4 FBFxminutes, P<0.001) than with simvastatin (1.8 FBFxminutes, P<0.01). Conversely, FVR stress response was reduced more with enalapril (9.1 FVRxminutes, P<0.001) than with simvastatin (2.9 FVRxminutes, P<0.01). During combination treatment, a significant (0.001>P<0.05) additive effect on hypercholesterolemia, structural vascular damage, BP, and FVR was shown. The findings suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition induces a larger reduction than HMG-CoA reductase blockade in vascular reactivity and structural damage in hypercholesterolemic hypertensive subjects.  (+info)

(2/1310) Involvement of tyrosine phosphorylation in HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor-induced cell death in L6 myoblasts.

Our previous studies have shown that the HMG-CoA reductase (HCR) inhibitor (HCRI), simvastatin, causes myopathy in rabbits and kills L6 myoblasts. The present study was designed to elucidate the molecular mechanism of HCRI-induced cell death. We have demonstrated that simvastatin induces the tyrosine phosphorylation of several cellular proteins within 10 min. These phosphorylations were followed by apoptosis, as evidenced by the occurrence of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and by morphological changes detected with Nomarski optics. Simvastatin-induced cell death was prevented by tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The MTT assay revealed that the addition of mevalonic acid into the culture medium partially inhibited simvastatin-induced cell death. Thus, these results suggested that protein tyrosine phosphorylation might play an important role in the intracellular signal transduction pathway mediating the HCRI-induced death of myoblasts.  (+info)

(3/1310) In vitro effects of simvastatin on tubulointerstitial cells in a human model of cyclosporin nephrotoxicity.

To investigate the possibility that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMGCoA) reductase inhibitors ameliorate renal disease via direct effects on the tubulointerstitium, primary cultures of human proximal tubule cells (PTC) and renal cortical fibroblasts (CF) were exposed for 24 h to simvastatin (0.1-10 micromol/l) under basal conditions and in the presence of 1,000 ng/ml of cyclosporin (CsA), which we have previously shown to promote in vitro interstitial matrix accumulation at least partially via activation of local cytokine networks. Simvastatin, in micromolar concentrations, engendered cholesterol-independent inhibition of CF and PTC thymidine incorporation and cholesterol-dependent suppression of PTC apical Na+/H+ exchange (NHE) (ethylisopropylamiloride-sensitive apical 22Na+ uptake). Similarly, CF secretion of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein-3 were depressed, whereas CF collagen synthesis ([3H]proline incorporation) and PTC secretion of the fibrogenic cytokines, transforming growth factor-beta1, and platelet-derived growth factor were unaffected. A lower concentration (0.1 micromol/l) of simvastatin did not affect any of the above parameters under basal conditions but completely prevented CsA-stimulated CF collagen synthesis (control, 6.6 +/- 0.6; CsA, 8.3 +/- 0.6; CsA+simvastatin, 6.2 +/- 0.5%; P < 0.05) and IGF-I secretion (89.5 +/- 16.6, 204.7 +/- 57.0, and 94.6 +/- 22.3 ng. mg protein-1. day-1, respectively; P < 0.05). The results suggest that simvastatin exerts direct cholesterol-dependent and -independent effects on the human kidney tubulointerstitium. HMGCoA reductase inhibitors may ameliorate interstitial fibrosis complicating CsA therapy via direct actions on human renal cortical fibroblasts.  (+info)

(4/1310) A comparison of the use, effectiveness and safety of bezafibrate, gemfibrozil and simvastatin in normal clinical practice using the New Zealand Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme (IMMP).

AIMS: Because of the importance of treating dyslipidaemia in the prevention of ischaemic heart disease and because patient selection criteria and outcomes in clinical trials do not necessarily reflect what happens in normal clinical practice, we compared outcomes from bezafibrate, gemfibrozil and simvastatin therapy under conditions of normal use. METHODS: A random sample of 200 patients was selected from the New Zealand Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme's (IMMP) patient cohorts for each drug. Questionnaires sent to prescribers requested information on indications, risk factors for ischaemic heart disease, lipid profiles with changes during treatment and reasons for stopping therapy. RESULTS: 80% of prescribers replied and 83% of these contained useful information. The three groups were similar for age, sex and geographical region, but significantly more patients on bezafibrate had diabetes and/or hypertension than those on gemfibrozil or simvastatin. After treatment and taking the initial measure into account, the changes in serum lipid values were consistent with those generally observed, but with gemfibrozil being significantly less effective than expected. More patients (15.8%S) stopped gemfibrozil because of an inadequate response compared with bezafibrate (5.4%) and simvastatin (1.6%). Gemfibrozil treatment was also withdrawn significantly more frequently due to a possible adverse reaction compared with the other two drugs. CONCLUSIONS: In normal clinical practice in New Zealand gemfibrozil appears less effective and more frequently causes adverse effects leading to withdrawal of treatment than either bezafibrate or simvastatin.  (+info)

(5/1310) Role of cholesterol ester mass in regulation of secretion of ApoB100 lipoprotein particles by hamster hepatocytes and effects of statins on that relationship.

Our understanding of the factors that regulate the secretion of apoB100 lipoproteins remains incomplete with considerable debate as to the role, if any, for cholesterol ester in this process. This study examines this issue in primary cultures of hamster hepatocytes, a species in which both cholesterol and apoB100 metabolism are very similar to man. Addition of oleate to medium increased the mass of triglyceride and cholesterol ester within the hepatocyte and also increased the secretion of triglycerides, cholesterol ester, and apoB100 into the medium. Next, the responses of hamster hepatocytes to addition of either an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (lovastatin) or an acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase inhibitor (58-035) to the medium, with or without added oleate, were determined. Effects of either agent were only evident in the oleate-supplemented medium in which cholesterol ester mass had been increased above basal. If oleate was not added to the medium, neither agent reduced apoB100 secretion; equally important, over the 24-hour incubation, neither agent, at the concentration used, produced any detectable change in intracellular cholesterol ester mass. However, in contrast to the estimates of mass, which were unchanged, under the same conditions radioisotopic estimates of cholesterol ester synthesis were markedly reduced. Any conclusion as to the relation of cholesterol ester mass to apoB100 secretion would therefore depend on which of the 2 methods was used. Overall, the data indicate a close correlation between the mass of cholesterol ester within the hepatocyte and apoB100 secretion from it and they go far to explain previous apparently contradictory data as to this relation. More importantly, though, taken with other available data, they indicate that the primary response of the liver to increased delivery of lipid is increased secretion rather than decreased uptake. These results point, therefore, to a hierarchy of hepatic responses to increased flux of fatty acids and increased synthesis of cholesterol that in turn suggests a more dynamic model of cholesterol homeostasis in the liver than has been appreciated in the past.  (+info)

(6/1310) Effect of long term simvastatin administration as an adjunct to ursodeoxycholic acid: evidence for a synergistic effect on biliary bile acid composition but not on serum lipids in humans.

BACKGROUND: Stimulated bile acid synthesis preferentially utilises newly synthesised cholesterol, raising the possibility that combination of simvastatin (an inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis) with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA; a stimulator of bile acid synthesis) may result in reduced bile acid synthesis and greater enrichment of the pool with UDCA than that achieved with UDCA treatment alone. AIMS: To investigate the effect of simvastatin and UDCA given alone and in combination on serum and biliary lipid and biliary bile acid composition. METHODS: Eighteen patients with primary non-familial hypercholesterolaemia were studied during treatment with simvastatin 20 mg/day, UDCA 10 mg/kg/day, and a combination of the two drugs. Each regimen was given in random order for three months following a three month lead in period. RESULTS: Simvastatin significantly reduced serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but biliary cholesterol concentration remained unchanged. Combination of the two drugs had no synergistic effect on serum cholesterol concentration, but significantly increased the proportion of UDCA in the bile acid pool from 35% during UDCA to 48% during combination treatment (p<0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Results showed that: (1) simvastatin reduces serum LDL cholesterol but has no effect on biliary cholesterol concentration, supporting the concept that newly synthesised cholesterol is not the preferential source for biliary cholesterol; and (2) combination of simvastatin with UDCA has the predicted effect of enhancing the proportion of UDCA in the pool. This effect may be of benefit in the treatment of cholestatic liver diseases.  (+info)

(7/1310) Role of tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C gamma1 in the signaling pathway of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor-induced cell death of L6 myoblasts.

Our previous studies have shown that the HMG-CoA reductase (HCR) inhibitor (HCRI), simvastatin, kills L6 myoblasts by involving Ca2+ mobilization from the Ca2+ pool in the cells but not by influx from extracellular space. More recently, we found that HCRI induced tyrosine phosphorylation of several cellular proteins, followed by apoptotic cell death of L6 myoblasts. The present study was aimed to elucidate the molecular target(s) of these tyrosine phosphorylations induced by HCRI and demonstrated that simvastatin induces tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC) gamma1. This tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma1 caused the increment of the intracellular inositol triphosphate (IP3) levels in L6 myoblasts. Pretreatment of the cells with herbimycin A, a specific inhibitor of protein tyrosine kinase, inhibited a simvastatin-induced increase in IP3 level in the cells as well as tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma1. Interestingly, pretreatment of the cells with U-73122, a specific inhibitor of PLC, prevented simvastatin-induced cell death. Thus, these results strongly suggest that simvastatin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma1 plays, at least in part, an important role for the development of simvastatin-induced cell death.  (+info)

(8/1310) Inhibition of thrombin generation by simvastatin and lack of additive effects of aspirin in patients with marked hypercholesterolemia.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of aspirin compared with simvastatin on thrombin generation in hypercholesterolemic men, and to establish whether the reduction of elevated blood cholesterol by simvastatin would affect the action of aspirin on thrombin formation. BACKGROUND: Aspirin inhibits thrombin formation, but its performance is blunted in hypercholesterolemia. By virtue of altering lipid profile, statins could be expected to influence thrombin generation. METHODS: Thirty-three men, aged 34 to 61 years, with minimal or no clinical symptoms, serum total cholesterol >6.5 mmol/liter and serum triglycerides <4.6 mmol/liter, completed the study consisting of three treatment phases. First, they received 300 mg of aspirin daily for two weeks (phase I), which was then replaced by simvastatin at the average dose of 24 mg/d for three months (phase II). In phase III, aspirin, 300 mg/day, was added for two weeks to simvastatin, the dose of which remained unchanged. Thrombin generation was assessed: 1) in vivo, by measuring levels of fibrinopeptide A (FPA) and prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2) in venous blood; and 2) ex vivo, by monitoring the rates of increase of FPA and F1+2 in blood emerging from standardized skin incisions of a forearm. A mathematical model was used to describe the kinetics of thrombin formation at the site of microvascular injury. RESULTS: Two-week treatment with aspirin had no effect on thrombin markers in vivo, while ex vivo it depressed the total amount of thrombin formed, though not the reaction rate. After simvastatin treatment, serum cholesterol decreased by 31% and LDL cholesterol by 42%, while thrombin generation became markedly depressed. In venous blood, FPA was significantly reduced. Concomitantly, the initial thrombin concentration and total amount of thrombin generated decreased significantly. Addition of aspirin to simvastatin (phase III) had no further effect on any of these parameters. CONCLUSIONS: In men with hypercholesterolemia, lowering serum cholesterol level by a three-month simvastatin treatment is accompanied by a marked reduction of thrombin generation both at basal conditions in venous blood and after activation of hemostasis by microvascular injury. Once blood cholesterol became reduced, adding aspirin to simvastatin did not enhance dampening of thrombin formation.  (+info)