Weinberg EO, Scherrer-Crosbie M, Picard MH, Nasseri BA, MacGillivray C, Gannon J, Lian Q, Bloch KD, Lee RT. 2005. Rosuvastatin reduces experimental left ventricular infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion injury but not total coronary occlusion. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 288(4):H1802-9. Pubmed: 15563531


This study compared the effects of rosuvastatin on left ventricular infarct size in mice after permanent coronary occlusion vs. 60 min of ischemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion. Statins can inhibit neutrophil adhesion, increase nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression, and mobilize progenitor stem cells after ischemic injury. Mice received blinded and randomized administration of rosuvastatin (20 or saline from 2 days before surgery until death. After 60 min of ischemia with reperfusion, infarct size was reduced by 18% (P = 0.03) in mice randomized to receive rosuvastatin (n = 18) vs. saline (n = 22) but was similar after permanent occlusion in rosuvastatin (n = 17) and saline (n = 20) groups (P = not significant). Myocardial infarct size after permanent left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion (n = 6) tended to be greater in NOS3-deficient mice than in the wild-type saline group (33 +/- 4 vs. 23 +/- 2%, P = 0.08). Infarct size in NOS3-deficient mice was not modified by treatment with rosuvastatin (34 +/- 5%, n = 6, P = not significant vs. NOS3-deficient saline group). After 60 min of ischemia-reperfusion, neutrophil infiltration was similar in rosuvastatin and saline groups as was the percentage of CD34(+), Sca-1(+), and c-Kit(+) cells. Left ventricular NOS3 mRNA and protein levels were unchanged by rosuvastatin. Rosuvastatin reduces infarct size after 60 min of ischemia-reperfusion but not after permanent coronary occlusion, suggesting a potential anti-inflammatory effect. Although we were unable to demonstrate that the myocardial protection was due to an effect on neutrophil infiltration, stem cell mobilization, or induction of NOS3, these data suggest that rosuvastatin may be particularly beneficial in myocardial protection after ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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