Reduced mitochondrial coenzyme Q10 levels in HepG2 cells treated with high-dose simvastatin: a possible role in statin-induced hepatotoxicity?Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007 Sep 01; 223(2):173-9.TA
Lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is well achieved by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins). Statins inhibit the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, a precursor for cholesterol and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). In HepG2 cells, simvastatin decreased mitochondrial CoQ10 levels, and at higher concentrations was associated with a moderately higher degree of cell death, increased DNA oxidative damage and a reduction in ATP synthesis. Supplementation of CoQ10, reduced cell death and DNA oxidative stress, and increased ATP synthesis. It is suggested that CoQ10 deficiency plays an important role in statin-induced hepatopathy, and that CoQ10 supplementation protects HepG2 cells from this complication.