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      Pleiotropic effects of statins.

      Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology

      Animals, Cardiovascular Diseases, drug therapy, metabolism, Endothelium, Vascular, drug effects, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, pharmacology, therapeutic use

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          Abstract

          Statins are potent inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis. In clinical trials, statins are beneficial in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. However, the overall benefits observed with statins appear to be greater than what might be expected from changes in lipid levels alone, suggesting effects beyond cholesterol lowering. Indeed, recent studies indicate that some of the cholesterol-independent or "pleiotropic" effects of statins involve improving endothelial function, enhancing the stability of atherosclerotic plaques, decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, and inhibiting the thrombogenic response. Furthermore, statins have beneficial extrahepatic effects on the immune system, CNS, and bone. Many of these pleiotropic effects are mediated by inhibition of isoprenoids, which serve as lipid attachments for intracellular signaling molecules. In particular, inhibition of small GTP-binding proteins, Rho, Ras, and Rac, whose proper membrane localization and function are dependent on isoprenylation, may play an important role in mediating the pleiotropic effects of statins.

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          Most cited references 130

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          The acute phase response.

          Adult mammals respond to tissue damage by implementing the acute phase response, which comprises a series of specific physiological reactions. This review outlines the principal cellular and molecular mechanisms that control initiation of the tissue response at the site of injury, the recruitment of the systemic defense mechanisms, the acute phase response of the liver and the resolution of the acute phase response.
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            Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER): a randomised controlled trial.

            Although statins reduce coronary and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality in middle-aged individuals, their efficacy and safety in elderly people is not fully established. Our aim was to test the benefits of pravastatin treatment in an elderly cohort of men and women with, or at high risk of developing, cardiovascular disease and stroke. We did a randomised controlled trial in which we assigned 5804 men (n=2804) and women (n=3000) aged 70-82 years with a history of, or risk factors for, vascular disease to pravastatin (40 mg per day; n=2891) or placebo (n=2913). Baseline cholesterol concentrations ranged from 4.0 mmol/L to 9.0 mmol/L. Follow-up was 3.2 years on average and our primary endpoint was a composite of coronary death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and fatal or non-fatal stroke. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. Pravastatin lowered LDL cholesterol concentrations by 34% and reduced the incidence of the primary endpoint to 408 events compared with 473 on placebo (hazard ratio 0.85, 95% CI 0.74-0.97, p=0.014). Coronary heart disease death and non-fatal myocardial infarction risk was also reduced (0.81, 0.69-0.94, p=0.006). Stroke risk was unaffected (1.03, 0.81-1.31, p=0.8), but the hazard ratio for transient ischaemic attack was 0.75 (0.55-1.00, p=0.051). New cancer diagnoses were more frequent on pravastatin than on placebo (1.25, 1.04-1.51, p=0.020). However, incorporation of this finding in a meta-analysis of all pravastatin and all statin trials showed no overall increase in risk. Mortality from coronary disease fell by 24% (p=0.043) in the pravastatin group. Pravastatin had no significant effect on cognitive function or disability. Pravastatin given for 3 years reduced the risk of coronary disease in elderly individuals. PROSPER therefore extends to elderly individuals the treatment strategy currently used in middle aged people.
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              Endothelium-derived relaxing factor produced and released from artery and vein is nitric oxide.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                15822172
                2694580
                10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.45.120403.095748

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