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Simvastatin suppresses experimental aortic aneurysm expansion.

Authors: Kalyanasundaram, A  Elmore, JR  Manazer, JR  Golden, A  Franklin, DP  Galt, SW  Zakhary, EM  Carey, DJ 
Citation: Kalyanasundaram A, etal., J Vasc Surg. 2006 Jan;43(1):117-24.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:16414398
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2005.08.007

OBJECTIVE: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation is a result of inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A inhibitors (statins), although clinically used as lipid-lowering agents, have also been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects. This study was designed to determine whether the hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A inhibitor simvastatin suppresses aneurysm formation in an elastase-induced rat AAA model. METHODS: Aneurysms were created in adult male Wistar rats by infusion of elastase into isolated infrarenal aortic segments. The rats were randomized to receive either simvastatin (n = 17) or placebo (n = 17) by gastric lavage daily starting the day before surgery. The rats were euthanized and the infrarenal aortas harvested on postoperative day 7. Aortic diameters were measured before infusion, immediately after infusion, and at the time of harvesting. Protein expression was measured by immunoblot analysis. Gene expression profiling using Affymetrix U34A rat genome chips was performed to identify changes in gene expression caused by simvastatin treatment. RESULTS: Mean aneurysm diameter was significantly less in the simvastatin treatment group compared with controls (3.4 +/- 0.08 mm vs 4.3 +/- 0.19 mm; P = .0001). MMP-9 and nuclear factor-kappaB protein levels were decreased in the aortas of simvastatin-treated animals. Gene microarray analysis revealed 315 genes with statistically significant changes in expression (P < .05) in the simvastatin group. Genes related to inflammation, ECM remodeling, and oxidative stress function were downregulated. These included genes for interleukin 1, interleukin 4, inducible nitric oxide synthase, P-selectin, platelet-derived growth factor alpha, tumor necrosis factor, and several chemokines. CONCLUSIONS: Simvastatin significantly suppresses experimental aneurysm expansion and reduces protein levels of MMP-9 and nuclear factor-kappaB. Gene array analysis provides evidence that several mediators of inflammation, matrix remodeling, and oxidative stress are downregulated by simvastatin treatment. This suggests that simvastatin inhibits AAA formation by blocking the expression of certain proinflammatory genes. Simvastatin may be useful as an adjuvant therapy to suppress the growth of small aneurysms.


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RGD Object Information
RGD ID: 2292162
Created: 2008-04-11
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2008-04-11
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.