alexa Statins decrease TNF-alpha-induced osteoprotegerin production by endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in vitro.


Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access

Author(s): BenTal Cohen E, Hohensinner PJ, Kaun C, Maurer G, Huber K,

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Abstract Recent reports have implicated osteoprotegerin (OPG) in cardiovascular disease processes. Endothelial and smooth muscle cells produce OPG and its expression in these cells is upregulated by inflammatory mediators. Statins, which besides their lipid lowering properties have various vasculoprotective effects, have been shown to regulate OPG expression in osteoblasts. We investigated whether statins affect the expression of OPG in human endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Using an ELISA we could demonstrate that statins reduce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-induced OPG production in cultured human endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. Atorvastatin also downregulated interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha)-induced OPG production in endothelial cells. A significant reduction of TNF-alpha-induced OPG was seen when statins were used in the nanomolar range. These results were confirmed at the level of specific mRNA expression by real-time-PCR. Using LDH leakage as a marker of cell damage we show that cell viability was not affected by statins at concentrations used in our study. The effect of statins on TNF-alpha-induced OPG production was reversed by mevalonate and geranyl-geranyl pyrophosphate at the level of protein production and at the level of mRNA expression, suggesting that it was brought about by inhibition of the mevalonic acid pathway and protein prenylation. Through our results we have added OPG to the list of molecules whose TNF-alpha-induced upregulation is counteracted by statins. If such an effect is also operative in the in vivo setting, one could postulate a role for statins in the modulation of cardiovascular disease processes possibly regulated by OPG. This article was published in Biochem Pharmacol and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access

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