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Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Feb 15;676(1-3):34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.11.052. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Effect of atorvastatin with or without prednisolone on Freund's adjuvant induced-arthritis in rats.

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Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease where cardiovascular diseases have been recognized as major determinants of early morbidity and mortality. Recently, there has been renewed interest in medication with glucocorticoids to decrease joint damage, but in long-term they incur substantial increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and their overall risk/benefit ratio is deemed unfavorable. So, the proposed role of statins in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when corticosteroids indicated as traditional therapy needs to be investigated. Fifty albino rats were divided into 5 equal groups; normal control group, Freund's adjuvant induced arthritis group, group of induced arthritis treated with atorvastatin, group of induced arthritis treated with prednisolone, and group of induced arthritis treated with atorvastatin and prednisolone. The change in paw volume, serum levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), paraoxonase1 (PON1) activity, nitrites, C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profile was determined. The results revealed that treatment by atorvastatin in combination with prednisolone produced better satisfactory results than in either remedy alone evidenced by significant decrease in volume of hind paw, levels of MDA, nitrites, CRP, significant increase in PON1 activity and HDL and amelioration of other lipid profile parameters that were impaired by prednisolone. The present work demonstrated that statins exert beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects beyond their basic cholesterol-lowering activity. Thus, we suggest that if corticosteroid therapy is indicated in rheumatoid arthritis, atorvastatin could be added to get benefit from its pleiotropic effects. However, further studies are needed to verify to what extent statin therapy contribute to clinical benefits in human.

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