Fluvastatin-induced alterations of skeletal muscle function in hypercholesterolaemic rats.
J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2011 Nov 9. Epub 2011 Nov 9. PMID: 22068225
Department of Physiology, MHSC, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 22, Debrecen, 4012, Hungary.
Although statins, the most widely used drugs in the treatment of hyperlipidaemia, are generally accepted as efficient and safe drugs their side-effects on skeletal muscle have been reported with increasing frequency. The lack of an animal model in which these side effects would consistently be observed is one of the important drawbacks in studying statin associated myopathy. To overcome this and enable the studying of the effects of fluvastatin on skeletal muscles an animal model with high blood cholesterol levels was developed. In these animals cholesterol levels rose more than seven fold (from 1.5 ± 0.1 to 10.7 ± 2.0 mmol/l; n = 15 and 16) with a dramatic increase in low density lipoprotein/high density lipoprotein ratio (from 0.29 ± 0.02 to 1.56 ± 0.17). While the latter was reversed by statin treatment, an elevation in blood creatine kinase (CK) level indicated the presence of muscle wasting. Fibers from m. extensor digitorum longus (EDL) showed significant reduction in cross sectional area in the statin treated groups. Statin treatment also decreased the proliferation and fusion of skeletal myotubes in culture. In line with this, resting intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) was reduced in statin treated satellite cells and myotubes. On the other hand, in adult skeletal muscle fibers statin treatment increased resting [Ca(2+)](i) (116 ± 4 nM vs. 151 ± 5 nM; n = 33 and 34) and decreased both twitch and tetanic force both in EDL and m. soleus. In addition, in m. soleus the duration of twitch and tetanic force was shortened. These results clearly indicate that statin administration in these animals results in a myopathy characterized by decreased muscle force and elevated plasma CK level.