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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007 Sep 15;223(3):277-87. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Mitochondrial impairment by PPAR agonists and statins identified via immunocaptured OXPHOS complex activities and respiration.

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MitoSciences, Inc., 1850 Millrace Drive, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.


Mitochondrial impairment is increasingly implicated in the etiology of toxicity caused by some thiazolidinediones, fibrates, and statins. We examined the effects of members of these drug classes on respiration of isolated rat liver mitochondria using a phosphorescent oxygen sensitive probe and on the activity of individual oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes using a recently developed immunocapture technique. Of the six thiazolidinediones examined, ciglitazone, troglitazone, and darglitazone potently disrupted mitochondrial respiration. In accord with these data, ciglitazone and troglitazone were also potent inhibitors of Complexes II+III, IV, and V, while darglitazone predominantly inhibited Complex IV. Of the six statins evaluated, lovastatin, simvastatin, and cerivastatin impaired mitochondrial respiration the most, with simvastatin and lovastatin impairing multiple OXPHOS Complexes. Within the class of fibrates, gemfibrozil more potently impaired respiration than fenofibrate, clofibrate, or ciprofibrate. Gemfibrozil only modestly inhibited Complex I, fenofibrate inhibited Complexes I, II+III, and V, and clofibrate inhibited Complex V. Our findings with the two complementary methods indicate that (1) some members of each class impair mitochondrial respiration, whereas others have little or no effect, and (2) the rank order of mitochondrial impairment accords with clinical adverse events observed with these drugs. Since the statins are frequently co-prescribed with the fibrates or thiazolidinediones, various combinations of these three drug classes were also analyzed for their mitochondrial effects. In several cases, the combination additively uncoupled or inhibited respiration, suggesting that some combinations are more likely to yield clinically relevant drug-induced mitochondrial side effects than others.

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