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Circulation. 2003 Sep 16;108(11):1368-74. Epub 2003 Aug 25.

Rosuvastatin reduces atherosclerosis development beyond and independent of its plasma cholesterol-lowering effect in APOE*3-Leiden transgenic mice: evidence for antiinflammatory effects of rosuvastatin.

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  • 1Gaubius Laboratory, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)-Prevention and Health, PO Box 2215, 2301 CE Leiden/the Netherlands. R.Kleemann@pg.tno.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Statins can exert anti-inflammatory antiatherosclerotic effects through an anti-inflammatory action, independent of lowering cholesterol. We addressed the question whether the anti-inflammatory activities of statins can reduce atherosclerosis beyond the reduction achieved by cholesterol lowering per se.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Two groups of 20 female APOE*3-Leiden mice received either a high-cholesterol diet (HC) or a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with 0.005% (wt/wt) rosuvastatin (HC+R). The HC diet alone resulted in a plasma cholesterol concentration of 18.9+/-1.4 mmol/L, and administration of rosuvastatin lowered plasma cholesterol to 14.1+/-0.7 mmol/L. In a separate low-cholesterol (LC) control group, the dietary cholesterol intake was reduced, which resulted in plasma cholesterol levels that were comparable to the HC+R group (13.4+/-0.8 mmol/L). Atherosclerosis in the aortic root area was quantified after 24 weeks. As compared with the HC group, the LC group had a 62% (P<0.001) reduction in cross-sectional lesion area. When compared with the LC group, the HC+R group showed a further decrease in cross-sectional lesion area (80%, P<0.001), size of individual lesions (63%, P<0.05), lesion number (58%, P<0.001), monocyte adherence (24%, P<0.05), and macrophage-containing area (60%, P<0.001). Furthermore, rosuvastatin specifically suppressed the expression of the inflammation parameters MCP-1 and TNF-alpha in the vessel wall and lowered plasma concentrations of serum amyloid A and fibrinogen, independent of its cholesterol-lowering effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rosuvastatin reduces atherosclerosis beyond and independent of the reduction achieved by cholesterol lowering alone. This additional beneficial effect of rosuvastatin may be explained, at least partly, by its anti-inflammatory activity.

PMID:
12939225
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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