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Br J Pharmacol. 1995 Sep;116(2):1894-8.

Effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors on mitochondrial respiration in ischaemic dog hearts.

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Department of Pharmacology, Hokkaido College of Pharmacy, Otaru, Japan.


1. Effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, pravastatin and simvastatin, on the myocardial level of coenzyme Q10, and on mitochondrial respiration were examined in dogs. 2. Either vehicle (control), pravastatin (4 mg kg-1 day-1), or simvastatin (2 mg kg-1 day-1) was administered orally for 3 weeks. First, the myocardial tissue level of coenzyme Q10 was determined in the 3 groups. Second, ischaemia was induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in anaesthetized open chest dogs, pretreated with the inhibitors. After 30 min of ischaemia, nonischaemic and ischaemic myocardium were removed from the left circumflex and LAD regions, respectively, and immediately used for isolation of mitochondria. The mitochondrial respiration was determined by polarography, with glutamate and succinate used as substrates. 3. Simvastatin significantly decreased the myocardial level of coenzyme Q10, but pravastatin did not. 4. Ischaemia decreased the mitochondrial respiratory control index (RCI) in both groups. Significant differences in RCI between nonischaemic and ischaemic myocardium were observed in the control and simvastatin-treated groups. 5. Only in the simvastatin-treated group did ischaemia significantly decrease the ADP/O ratio, determined with succinate. 6. The present results indicate that simvastatin but not pravastatin may cause worsening of the myocardial mitochondrial respiration during ischaemia, probably because of reduction of the myocardial coenzyme Q10 level.

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