HMG-CoA reductase inhibition improves endothelial cell function and inhibits smooth muscle cell proliferation in human saphenous veins

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OBJECTIVES: This study examined effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor cerivastatin on human saphenous vein (SV), endothelial cells (EC) and smooth muscle cells (SMC). BACKGROUND: Venous bypass graft failure involves EC dysfunction and SMC proliferation. Substances that improve EC function and inhibit SMC proliferation would be of clinical relevance. METHODS: Both EC and SMC were isolated from SV. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and nitric oxide (NO) production were analyzed by immunoblotting and porphyrinic microsensor. The SMC proliferation was assayed by 3H-thymidine incorporation. Protein kinases and cell cycle regulators were analyzed by immunoblotting. RESULTS: Cerivastatin (10-9 to 10-6 mol/liter) enhanced eNOS protein expression and NO release (about two-fold) in EC in response to Ca2+ ionophore (10-6 mol/liter). This was fully abrogated by the HMG-CoA product mevanolate (2 x 10-4 mol/liter). In SMC, platelet-derived growth factor (5 ng/ml) enhanced 3H-thymidine incorporation (298 ± 23%, n = 4), activated cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk2), phosphorylated Rb and down-regulated p27(Kip1) (but not p21(Cip1)). Cerivastatin reduced the 3H-thymidine incorporation (164 ± 11%, p < 0.01), inhibited Cdk2 activation and Rb phosphorylation, but did not prevent p27(Kip1) down-regulation, nor p42(mapk) and p70(S6K) activation. Mevalonate abrogated the effects of cerivastatin on Cdk2 and Rb but only partially rescued the 3H-thymidine incorporation (from 164 ± 11% to 211 ± 13%, n = 4, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In humans, SVEC inhibition of HMG-CoA/mevalonate pathway contributes to the enhanced eNOS expression and NO release by cerivastatin, whereas in SMC, inhibition of this pathway only partially explains cerivastatin-induced cell growth arrest. Inhibition of mechanisms other than p42(mapk) and p70(S6K) or Cdk2 are also involved. These effects of cerivastatin could be important in treating venous bypass graft disease. (C) 2000 by the American College of Cardiology.




Yang, Z., Kozai, T., Van De Loo, B., Viswambharan, H., Lachat, M., Turina, M. I., … Lüscher, T. F. (2000). HMG-CoA reductase inhibition improves endothelial cell function and inhibits smooth muscle cell proliferation in human saphenous veins. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 36(5), 1691–1697.

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