1. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (statins) manifest pleiotropic effects that may contribute to their therapeutic efficacy. However, the mechanism of the beneficial action of statins on cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis remains unclear. We have now investigated this action of pitavastatin in Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) rats. 2. The DS rats progressively develop marked hypertension when fed a diet containing 8% NaCl from 7 weeks of age. These animals exhibited pronounced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, as well as upregulation of fetal-type cardiac gene expression at 12 weeks of age, compared with DS rats fed a diet containing 0.3% NaCl. The abundance of mRNAs for collagen types I and III, angiotensin-converting enzyme, transforming growth factor-β1 and connective tissue growth factor was also increased in the heart of rats on the high-salt diet. 3. Treatment of rats on the high-salt diet with a non-antihypertensive dose of pitavastatin (0.3 or 1 mg/kg per day) from 7 to 12 weeks of age attenuated the development of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, as well as inhibiting the upregulation of cardiac gene expression. Pitavastatin also blocked the translocation of RhoA to the membrane fraction of the left ventricle and RhoA activation, as well as the phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-1 and ERK-2 and an increase in the DNA binding activity of serum response factor (SRF) in the heart induced by the high-salt diet. 4. These findings suggest that the effects of pitavastatin on load-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis are independent of its cholesterol-lowering action and may be mediated, at least in part, through inhibition of RhoA-ERK-SRF signalling.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 01-12-2006|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)