Effect of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors on the functional properties of erythrocyte membranes

R. A. Rabini, M. Polenta, R. Staffolani, M. Tocchini, R. Signore, I. Testa, L. Mazzanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied 56 patients affected by primary hypercholesterolemia treated with placebo for 1 month and with simvastatin (20 mg/day) or pravastatin (20 mg/day) for 6 months during a double-blind clinical trial. At 1-month intervals we determined the following parameters in the serum: total and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein A-1 and B. At the same time intervals we also determined the cholesterol and phospholipid concentration, the Na+/K+ ATPase activity, and the fluidity of erythrocyte membranes. Our results demonstrated the following modifications in the erythrocyte membranes during simvastatin and pravastatin treatments: (1) an initial increase in cholesterol concentration and in cholesterol/phospholipid molar ratio, with a significant decrease only after 4 months; (2) a similar behavior of membrane fluidity, with an initial decrease and an elevation after 4 months; (3) an increase in the Na+/K+ ATPase activity only after 4 months. We hyothesize that simvastatin and pravastatin not only inhibit the hepatic synthesis of cholesterol, but also modify the cholesterol exchange between plasma and the erythrocyte membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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