Pravastatin improves risk factors but not ischaemic tolerance in obese rats

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Oi, Massa
Donner, Daniel
Peart, Jason
Beck, Belinda
Wendt, Lauren
Headrick, John P
du Toit, Eugene F
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Statins are effective in management of dyslipidaemia, and a cornerstone of CVD prevention strategies. However, the impacts of their pleiotropic effects on other cardiovascular risk factors and myocardial responses to infarction are not well characterised. We hypothesised that pravastatin treatment in obesity improves lipid profiles, insulin-resistance and myocardial resistance to ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Wistar rats were fed a control (C) chow or high carbohydrate and fat diet (HCFD) for 16 weeks with vehicle or pravastatin (prava 7.5 mg/kg/day) treatment for 8 weeks. At 16 weeks HOMAs were performed, blood samples collected and hearts excised for Langendorff perfusions/biochemical analyses. Anti-oxidant activity and proteins regulating mitochondrial fission/fusion and apoptosis were assessed. The HCFD increased body weight (736±15 vs. 655±12 g for C; P<0.001), serum triglycerides (2.91±0.52 vs. 1.64±0.26 mmol/L for C; P<0.001) and insulin-resistance (HOMA- 6.9±0.8 vs. 4.2±0.5 for C; P<0.05) while prava prevented diet induced changes and paradoxically increased lipid peroxidation. The HCFD increased infarct size (34.1±3.1% vs. 18.8±3.0% of AAR for C; P<0.05), which was unchanged by prava in C and HCFD animals. The HCFD decreased cardiac TxR activity and mitochondrial MFN-1 and increased mitochondrial DRP-1 (reducing MFN-1:DRP-1 ratio) and Bax expression, with the latter changes prevented by prava. While unaltered by diet, cytosolic levels of Bax and caspase-3 were reduced by prava in C and HCFD hearts (without changes in cleaved caspase-3). We conclude that obesity, hyper-triglyceridemia and impaired glycemic control in HCFD rats are countered by prava. Despite improved risk factors, prava did not reduce myocardial infarct size, potentially reflecting its complex pleiotropic impacts on cardiac GPX activity and MFN-1, DRP-1, caspase-3 and Bcl-2 proteins.

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European Journal of Pharmacology
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© 2018 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
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