Inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by atorvastatin decreases both VLDL and LDL apolipoprotein B production in miniature pigs.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1997 Nov; 17(11):2589-600.AT
In the present studies, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor atorvastatin was used to test the hypothesis that inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in vivo with a consequent reduction in the availability of hepatic cholesterol for lipoprotein synthesis, would (1) reduce very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) apolipoprotein B (apoB) secretion into the plasma, (2) reduce the conversion of VLDL apoB to LDL apoB, and (3) reduce LDL apoB direct synthesis. ApoB kinetic studies were carried out in six control miniature pigs and in six animals after 21 days of administration of atorvastatin (3 mg/kg per day). Pigs were fed a fat- (34% of calories; polyunsaturated to monounsaturated to saturated ratio, 1:1:1) and cholesterol- (400 mg/d cholesterol; 0.1%; 0.2 mg/kcal) containing pig chow-based diet. Atorvastatin treatment significantly reduced plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total triglyceride, and VLDL triglyceride concentrations by 16%, 31%, 19%, and 28%, respectively (P < .01). Autologous 131I-VLDL, 125I-LDL, and [3H]leucine were injected simultaneously into each pig, and apoB kinetic data were analyzed using multicompartmental analysis (SAAM II). The VLDL apoB pool size decreased by 29% (0.46 versus 0.65 mg/kg; P = .002), which was entirely due to a 34% reduction in the VLDL apoB production rate (PR) (1.43 versus 2.19 mg/kg per hour; P = .027). The fractional catabolic rate (FCR) was unchanged. The LDL apoB pool size decreased by 30% (4.74 versus 6.75 mg/kg; P = .0004), which was due to a 22% reduction in the LDL apoB PR (0.236 versus 0.301 mg/kg per hour; P = .004), since the FCR was unchanged. The reduction in LDL apoB PR was primarily due to a 34% decrease in conversion of VLDL apoB to LDL apoB; however, this reduction was not statistically significant (P = .114). Hepatic apoB mRNA abundance quantitated by RNase protection assay was decreased by 13% in the atorvastatin-treated animals (P = .003). Hepatic and intestinal LDL receptor mRNA abundances were not affected. We conclude that inhibition of hepatic HMG-CoA reductase by atorvastatin reduces both VLDL and LDL apoB concentrations, primarily by decreasing apoB secretion into the plasma and not by an increase in hepatic LDL receptor expression. This decrease in apoB secretion may, in part, be due to a reduction in apoB mRNA abundance.