Statin or fibrate chronic treatment modifies the proteomic profile of rat skeletal muscle

Giulia Maria Camerino, Maria Antonietta Pellegrino, Lorenza Brocca, Claudio Digennaro, Diana Conte Camerino, Sabata Pierno, Roberto Bottinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statins and fibrates can cause myopathy. To further understand the causes of the damage we performed a proteome analysis in fast-twitch skeletal muscle of rats chronically treated with different hypolipidemic drugs. The proteomic maps were obtained from extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of rats treated for 2-months with 10 mg/kg atorvastatin, 20 mg/kg fluvastatin, 60 mg/kg fenofibrate and control rats. The proteins differentially expressed were identified by mass spectrometry and further analyzed by immunoblot analysis. We found a significant modification in 40 out of 417 total spots analyzed in atorvastatin treated rats, 15 out of 436 total spots in fluvastatin treated rats and 21 out of 439 total spots in fenofibrate treated rats in comparison to controls. All treatments induced a general tendency to a down-regulation of protein expression; in particular, atorvastatin affected the protein pattern more extensively with respect to the other treatments. Energy production systems, both oxidative and glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase, were down-regulated following atorvastatin administration, whereas fenofibrate determined mostly alterations in glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase, oxidative enzymes being relatively spared. Additionally, all treatments resulted in some modifications of proteins involved in cellular defenses against oxidative stress, such as heat shock proteins, and of myofibrillar proteins. These results were confirmed by immunoblot analysis. In conclusions, the proteomic analysis showed that either statin or fibrate administration can modify the expression of proteins essential for skeletal muscle function suggesting potential mechanisms for statin myopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1064
Number of pages11
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2011


  • Hypolipidemic drugs
  • Myopathy
  • Proteomic analysis
  • Side effects
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry


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