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J Card Fail. 2008 Mar;14(2):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2007.10.015.

Atorvastatin attenuates cardiomyocyte loss in adult rats from protein-restricted dams.

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  • 1Laboratory of Morphometry and Cardiovascular Morphology, Biomedical Centre, Institute of Biology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Av 28 de Setembro, 87 (fds)-20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.



Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that have been proved to prevent cardiac events. Their direct effects on cardiac remodeling, when administered in programmed protein restricted animals, still are unknown.


Wistar male 6-month-old offspring from dams fed normal protein (NP, 19% of protein) or low-protein (LP, 5% of protein) during pregnancy and first 10 days after birth were studied. After weaning, male pups were allocated to untreated or treated groups with atorvastatin (low and high doses, 5 or 30 mg.kg.day) in two different periods (from 21 days old to 3 months old and from 3 to 6 months old). The blood pressure (BP) was 30% greater in untreated LP offspring than in treated offspring (from 165 +/- 6 mm Hg to 127 +/- 3 mm Hg, P < .01). After 1 month of treatment, only untreated LP offspring continued with high BP. Compared with untreated LP offspring, atorvastatin reduced blood glucose (less 30%, P < .05) and cardiomyocyte size (less 24%, P < .05), whereas untreated LP offspring had greater interstitial fibrosis (plus 74%, P < .01), reduction of myocardial vascularization (less 25%, P < .01) and major reduction of cardiomyocyte number (less 38%, P < .01) than treated LP offspring.


Atorvastatin from 3 to 6 months olds in both low and high doses (but not from 0 to 3 months) has beneficial effects improving myocardial vascularization by diminishing fibrosis and cardiomyocyte loss.

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