Effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibition on PDGF- and angiotensin II- mediated signal transduction: suppression of c-Jun and c-Fos in human smooth muscle cells in vitro.

J. Kreuzer, L. Watson, T. Herdegen, Matthias Loebe, P. Wende, K. Kübler

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24 Scopus citations


Hydroxymethylglutaryl-Coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors were shown to be effective in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The beneficial effect of statins is generally attributed to their cholesterol lowering activity. However recent work points to additional cholesterol independent effects of these drugs on cellular signal transduction. In this study it was investigated whether HMG-CoA reductase inhibition could affect induction of the transcription factors c-Jun and c-Fos in smooth muscle cells, which play an important role in atherogenesis. SMC were preincubated for 12 h with or without lovastatin (5 microM) and subsequently stimulated with platelet derived growth factor (PDGF, 10 ng/ml) or angiotensin II (0.1 microM) for 1, 2, 4 and 12 h or with phorbol myristate acetate (100 pM) for 2 h. Stimulation in the absence of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor led to a significant induction of c-Jun and c-Fos. Lovastatin inhibited, PDGF-, angiotensin II- and PMA-mediated induction. Concomitant addition of mevalonate, farnesylpyrophosphate and geranylgeranylpyrophosphate prevented the effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibition resulting in rescued expression of c-Jun and c-Fos. The suppression of these transcription factors was associated with a complete growth arrest. Viability was not affected by pretreatment with the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. The data demonstrate that lovastatin can suppress PDGF- and angiotensin II-mediated induction of c-Jun and c-Fos protein in human SMC. This inhibitory effect may prevent activation of numerous growth factor- and cell cycle- genes. Whether these findings contribute to the effects of statins in atherosclerosis remains to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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