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Simvastatin restores ischemic preconditioning in the presence of hyperglycemia through a nitric oxide-mediated mechanism. Anesthesiology 2008 Apr;108(4):634-42



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BACKGROUND: A growing body of evidence indicates that statins decrease perioperative cardiovascular risk and that these drugs may be particularly efficacious in diabetes. Diabetes and hyperglycemia abolish the cardioprotective effects of ischemic preconditioning (IPC). The authors tested the hypothesis that simvastatin restores the beneficial effects of IPC during hyperglycemia through a nitric oxide-mediated mechanism.

METHODS: Myocardial infarct size was measured in dogs (n = 76) subjected to coronary artery occlusion and reperfusion in the presence or absence of hyperglycemia (300 mg/dl) with or without IPC in separate groups. Additional dogs received simvastatin (20 mg orally daily for 3 days) in the presence or absence of IPC and hyperglycemia. Other dogs were pretreated with N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (30 mg intracoronary) with or without IPC, hyperglycemia, and simvastatin.

RESULTS: Ischemic preconditioning significantly (P < 0.05) reduced infarct size (n = 7, 7 +/- 2%) as compared with control (n = 7, 29 +/- 3%). Hyperglycemia (n = 7), simvastatin (n = 7), N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester alone (n = 7), and simvastatin with hyperglycemia (n = 6) did not alter infarct size. Hyperglycemia (n = 7, 24 +/- 2%), but not N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (n = 5, 10 +/- 1%), blocked the protective effects of IPC. Simvastatin restored the protective effects of IPC in the presence of hyperglycemia (n = 7, 14 +/- 1%), and this beneficial action was blocked by N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (n = 7, 29 +/- 4%).

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that simvastatin restored the cardioprotective effects of IPC during hyperglycemia by nitric oxide-mediated signaling. The results also suggest that enhanced cardioprotective signaling could be a mechanism for statin-induced decreases in perioperative cardiovascular risk.

Author List

Gu W, Kehl F, Krolikowski JG, Pagel PS, Warltier DC, Kersten JR


Paul S. Pagel MD, PhD Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Blood Glucose
Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial
Myocardial Infarction
Nitric Oxide
jenkins-FCD Prod-387 b0ced2662056320369de4e5cd5f21c218c03feb3