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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Feb;294(2):H801-9. Epub 2007 Nov 30.

Rosuvastatin provides pleiotropic protection against pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular hypertrophy, and coronary endothelial dysfunction in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0019, USA.


We recently reported that increased vascular endothelial nitric oxide production could protect against the development of monocrotaline (MCT)-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) in rats (32). The present study investigated whether the pleiotropic action of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors in upregulating endothelial function could also protect against the MCT-induced end-organ damages. Rosuvastatin (2 mg kg(-1) day(-1) via oral gavage) or placebo was initiated 1 wk before or 1 wk after MCT (60 mg/kg ip) administration. One month after MCT, significant PAH developed in the placebo rats, which were accompanied by histological evidence of pulmonary vascular thickening and right ventricular hypertrophy. The coronary endothelial vasodilatory function, assessed with endothelial/nitric oxide-dependent responses to acetylcholine and N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), was depressed, while the constrictory responses to known coronary constrictors was enhanced. In rats that received rosuvastatin treatment 1 wk before MCT administration, a significantly reduced PAH and RVH was observed, as well as reduced pulmonary vascular and right ventricular remodelings. Rosuvastatin 1-wk posttreatment had no effect on PAH, but inhibited RVH. Right coronary endothelial dysfunction, which was shown in placebo rats, was effectively prevented by both pre- and postrosuvastatin treatment, while this effect was more dramatic in the pretreated group. Left coronary endothelial function, which was not affected by MCT, also showed an upregulation by rosuvastatin. Taken together, our results demonstrated the pleiotropic protection of rosuvastatin against the development of PAH and RVH and confirmed our previous finding that the targeted preservation of coronary endothelial function and vasoactivity may provide a novel approach to protect against cardiac remodeling.

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