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Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2019 Feb;1863(2):481-490. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.11.012. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Therapeutic effects of rosuvastatin in hypercholesterolemic prediabetic mice in the absence of low density lipoprotein receptor.

Author information

1
A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 70210 Kuopio, Finland.
2
A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 70210 Kuopio, Finland; Gene Therapy Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, 70211 Kuopio, Finland; Heart Center, Kuopio University Hospital, 70211 Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: seppo.ylaherttuala@uef.fi.

Abstract

Statins are effective drugs used to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases but their effects in the absence of low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and on the risk of diabetes are not yet well characterized. The aim of this study was to clarify systemic and pleiotropic effects of rosuvastatin on cardiovascular and diabetic phenotypes. IGF-II/LDLR-/-ApoB100/100 hypercholesterolemic prediabetic mice were used to test the effects of rosuvastatin on plasma glucose, insulin, lipids, atherosclerosis and liver steatosis. To get a more comprehensive view about changes in gene expression RNA-sequencing was done from the liver. Rosuvastatin significantly reduced plasma cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic mice in the absence of LDLR but had no effects on atherosclerosis at aortic sinus level or in coronary arteries. Rosuvastatin also significantly reduced liver steatosis without any harmful effects on glucose or insulin metabolism. RNA-sequencing showed relatively specific effects of rosuvastatin on genes involved in cholesterol metabolism together with a significant anti-inflammatory gene expression profile in the liver. In addition, significant changes were found in the expression of Perilipin 4 and 5 which are involved in lipid droplet formation in the liver. For the first time it could be shown that Tribbles proteins are affected by rosuvastatin treatment in the hyperlipidemic mice. Rosuvastatin had several positive effects on hypercholesterolemic mice showing early signs of diabetes, many of which are unrelated to cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism. These results increase our understanding about the systemic and pleiotropic effects of rosuvastatin in the absence of LDLR expression.

KEYWORDS:

Atherosclerosis; Cholesterol metabolism; Diabetes; Liver; Low density lipoprotein receptor; Statins

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