Pleiotropic vasoprotective effects of statins: The chicken or the egg?
Dimitrios Kirmizis, Dimitrios Chatzidimitriou
Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Abstract: Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl coenzyme A [HMG-CoA] reductase inhibitors) are the most commonly used lipid-lowering drugs. Their main lipid-lowering effect is achieved by an increase in the expression of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol receptors associated with inhibition of cholesterol synthesis through inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase – the first and rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. However, beyond cholesterol synthesis inhibition, inhibition of the HMG-CoA reductase affects as well the synthesis of other molecules with significant roles in different, yet often intercalating, metabolic pathways. On this basis, and supported by an increasing series of advocating epidemiological and experimental data, an extended dialogue has been established over the last few years regarding the nonlipid or “pleiotropic” actions of statins.
Keywords: statins, immunomodulatory, pleiotropic effects
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