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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Jun;27(6):1471-7. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

Fluvastatin alters platelet aggregability in patients with hypercholesterolemia: possible improvement of intraplatelet redox imbalance via HMG-CoA reductase.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume, 830-0011, Japan.



Hypercholesterolemia enhances platelet aggregability. Statins have beneficial effects on cardiovascular events. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether statins inhibit platelet aggregation and, if so, the mechanisms.


Twelve patients with hypercholesterolemia were prospectively randomized in a crossover design to receive either fluvastatin (20 mg/d) or colestimide (3000 mg/d) for 12 weeks. The subjects were switched to the opposite arm for additional 12 weeks. Before and after first and second treatments, experiments were performed. Eleven age-matched volunteers with normal lipid profiles served as controls. ADP-induced platelet aggregation, platelet-derive nitric oxide (PDNO) release, intraplatelet levels of GSH and GSSG, and intraplatelet nitrotyrosine production during platelet aggregation were measured. Fluvastatin and colestimide equally lowered total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemia. Platelet aggregation was greater in hypercholesterolemia than in normocholesterolemia before treatment and was altered by fluvastatin. PDNO release, intraplatelet glutathione level, and GSH/GSSG ratio were lower in hypercholesterolemia than in normocholesterolemia before treatment and were increased by fluvastatin. Intraplatelet nitrotyrosine formation was greater in hypercholesterolemia than in normocholesterolemia, and decreased by fluvastatin. Colestimide did not have such effects. In vitro application of fluvastatin dose-dependently inhibited platelet aggregation. Furthermore, in vitro application of fluvastatin dose-dependently inhibited platelet nitrotyrosine expressions and the inhibitory effects by fluvastatin were reversed by preincubation with geranylgeranylpyrophosphate.


Fluvastatin altered platelet aggregability in hypercholesterolemic patients in a cholesterol-lowering independent manner, which was partly mediated by the improvement of intraplatelet redox imbalance.

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