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Cardiovasc Res. 2012 Jun 1;94(3):501-9. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvs121. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Short-term statin administration in hypercholesterolaemic rabbits resistant to postconditioning: effects on infarct size, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and nitro-oxidative stress.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Athens School of Pharmacy, Panepistimiopolis, Zografou, Athens 15771, Greece.



The effectiveness of postconditioning (POC) in hypercholesterolaemia is in dispute. We investigated the effects of 3-day lipophilc (simvastatin) or hydrophilic (pravastatin) statin treatment, without or with POC in normocholesterolaemic (Norm) and hypercholesterolaemic (Chol) rabbits.


Norm or Chol rabbits were subjected to 30 min ischaemia and randomized in two series of 12 groups each: control, simvastatin (Sim), pravastatin (Prav), POC, Sim-POC, Prav-POC, Chol, Sim-Chol, Prav-Chol, POC-Chol, Sim-POC-Chol, Prav-POC-Chol. After ischaemia, rabbits of the first series underwent 3 h reperfusion, followed by infarct size, total cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein plasma level evaluation; animals of the second series underwent 10 min reperfusion followed by tissue sampling for nitrotyrosine (NT), malondialdehyde, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and Akt analyses. N-nitro-l-arginine methylester (L-NAME) was given in two additional groups (POC-L-NAME and Prav-Chol-L-NAME) for infarct size assessment. All interventions reduced infarction in Norm (24.3 ± 1.3, 25.9 ± 2.8, 27.9 ± 3.1, 23.3 ± 2.3, and 33.4 ± 2.5%, in POC, Sim, Prav, Sim-POC, and Prav-POC groups, respectively, vs. 49.3 ± 1.9% in control, P < 0.05), but only Prav did so in Chol animals (25.7 ± 3.3 and 25.3 ± 3.9% in Prav-Chol and Prav-POC-Chol vs. 50.9 ± 1.7, 44.8 ± 4.3, 41.5 ± 3.5, and 49.3 ± 5.5% in Chol, Sim-Chol, POC-Chol, and Sim-POC-Chol, respectively, P < 0.05). L-NAME abolished the infarct size-limiting effect of POC and Prav-Chol. Prav induced the greatest reduction in NT, while it was the only intervention that increased myocardial eNOS and Akt in Chol rabbits (P < 0.05 vs. all others).


Prav, in contrast to same-dose Sim or POC, reduces infarction in Chol rabbits independently of lipid lowering, potentially through eNOS activation and nitro-oxidative stress attenuation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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