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Kidney Int. 2006 May;69(9):1535-42.

Simvastatin improves sepsis-induced mortality and acute kidney injury via renal vascular effects.

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Renal Diagnostics and Therapeutics Unit, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in about half of patients in septic shock and the mortality of AKI with sepsis is extremely high. An effective therapeutic intervention is urgently required. Statins are 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors that also have pleiotropic actions. They have been reported to increase the survival of septic or infectious patients. But the effect of simvastatin, a widely used statin, on sepsis-induced AKI is unknown. The effects of simvastatin and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha neutralizing antibody were studied in a clinically relevant model of sepsis-induced AKI using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in elderly mice. Simvastatin significantly improved CLP-induced mortality and AKI. Simvastatin attenuated CLP-induced tubular damage and reversed CLP-induced reduction of intrarenal microvascular perfusion and renal tubular hypoxia at 24 h. Simvastatin also restored towards normal CLP-induced renal vascular protein leak and serum TNF-alpha. Neither delayed simvastatin therapy nor TNF-alpha neutralizing antibody improved CLP-induced AKI. Simvastatin improved sepsis-induced AKI by direct effects on the renal vasculature, reversal of tubular hypoxia, and had a systemic anti-inflammatory effect.

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