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Cardiovascular disease basic research
Effect of atorvastatin (lipitor) on myocardial apoptosis and caspase-8 activation following coronary microembolisation
  1. Li Lang,
  2. Su Qiang
  1. The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi, China

Abstract

We determined the effect of atorvastatin on myocardial apoptosis and caspase-8 activation following coronary microembolisation (CME) in a rat model. For this, 50 rats were randomly and equally divided into CME; sham-operated (control); atorvastatin lavage; gastric-lavage control; and caspase-8 inhibitor (CHO) groups. In CME animals, a microembolisation ball was injected through the left ventricle. Sham animals were injected with normal saline (NS). Atorvastatin group received atorvastatin gastric lavage once-a-day, 1-week before surgery. Gastric-lavage controls had similar lavage with NS. CHO group was intraperitoneally-injected (CHO-10 mg/kg) 30 min before surgery. Cardiac indices in each group were determined by echocardiography 6 h postoperatively. TUNEL assay and western blot were used for myocardial apoptosis and expression of caspases-3/-8, respectively. Echocardiography data show that left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in CME group was significantly decreased (p<0.05) compared with sham controls. Besides, left ventricular shortening fraction (FS) and cardiac output (CO) were also decreased with an increase in left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVEDd). Atorvastatin and CHO animals had significantly improved (p<0.05) cardiac function compared with CME group. Myocardial apoptosis and activation levels of caspases-3/-8 were significantly increased (p<0.05) compared with sham; myocardial apoptosis and activation levels of caspases-3/-8 were significantly decreased (p<0.05) in atorvastatin and CHO groups compared with CME group. In conclusion, atorvastatin pretreatment suppressed post-CME myocardial apoptosis and improved cardiac function through the blockade of a myocardial death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathway.

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