Novel actions of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors(statins)--vascular and cerebral protection through inhibition of small GTPase Rho

N. Sawada, H. Itoh, K. Nakao

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical trials have demonstrated the beneficial effect of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors(statins) for stroke prevention, independent of their lipid-lowering effects. Recent experimental progress indicated the effects of statins for brain protection on both vascular walls(endothelium, smooth muscle, inflammatory cells and platelets) and extra-vascular tissues(brain parenchyma). These pleiotropic effects of statins have been, at least in part, ascribed to inhibition of small GTPases Rho and Ras, which require isoprenoids (intermediates of the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway) for activation. Importantly, statin inhibition of Rho (1) attenuates the infarct size in a rat model of brain ischemia via the elevation of eNOS expression, and (2) suppresses vascular smooth muscle proliferation through up-regulation of CDK inhibitor p27kip1. The novel action of statin, as inhibitor of small GTPase family, should expand its potential toward integrative organ protection, beyond its conventional lipid-lowering and anti-atherogenic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2470-2475
Number of pages6
JournalNippon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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