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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Mar 1;259(2):263-8. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2012.01.008. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Muscle mitochondrial metabolism and calcium signaling impairment in patients treated with statins.

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Université Montpellier 1 & Université Montpellier, Montpellier, France.


The most common and problematic side effect of statins is myopathy. To date, the patho-physiological mechanisms of statin myotoxicity are still not clearly understood. In previous studies, we showed that acute application in vitro of simvastatin caused impairment of mitochondrial function and dysfunction of calcium homeostasis in human and rat healthy muscle samples. We thus evaluated in the present study, mitochondrial function and calcium signaling in muscles of patients treated with statins, who present or not muscle symptoms, by oxygraphy and recording of calcium sparks, respectively. Patients treated with statins showed impairment of mitochondrial respiration that involved mainly the complex I of the respiratory chain and altered frequency and amplitude of calcium sparks. The muscle problems observed in statin-treated patients appear thus to be related to impairment of mitochondrial function and muscle calcium homeostasis, confirming the results we previously reported in vitro.

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