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Hypertens Res. 2011 Jul;34(7):869-75. doi: 10.1038/hr.2011.44. Epub 2011 May 12.

Rosuvastatin attenuates the elevation in blood pressure induced by overexpression of human C-reactive protein.

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  • 1Departments of Internal Medicine, The Institute of Hypertension, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, PR China.


C-reactive protein (CRP) has been shown to function as an inflammatory factor to induce endothelial dysfunction and hypertension in rats. The anti-inflammatory effects of statins suggest that they may attenuate CRP-induced endothelial dysfunction and hypertension in Sprague-Dawley rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with an adeno-associated virus (AAV) to induce overexpression of human CRP (AAV-hCRP) or green fluorescent protein (GFP) control (AAV-GFP). At 2 months after injection, rats were administered rosuvastatin by daily oral gavage (10 mg kg(-1)) for 2 additional months. Rosuvastatin administration attenuated the increased blood pressure and loss of vascular endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression in AAV-hCRP-treated rats, and N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester blocked its hypotensive effect. Rosuvastatin also activated phosphoinositide 3-kinases/Akt, and inhibited Rho kinase activity in aorta. Rosuvastatin reduced the production of reactive oxygen species through downregulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunits, p22 phox and gp91 phox, and upregulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression. Rosuvastatin attenuated the increase in blood pressure in AAV-hCRP-treated rats through endothelial protection and antioxidant effects. Our data reveals a novel mechanism through which statins may lower blood pressure.

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