3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, or statins, are widely prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. Large clinical trials have demonstrated that statins reduce mortality and incidence of cardiovascular events. Although improvement of dyslipidemia is supposed to account for reduction of cardiovascular events by statin therapy, recent reports demonstrated that statins have lipid-independent benefits, so-called “pleiotropic effects”, including improvement of endothelial function, inhibition of inflammation, and augmentation of angiogenic response in ischemic tissues. Statins enhance re-endothelialization of injured arteries and inhibit atherosclerotic lesion development. Here, we overview the favorable effects of statins on endothelial cells and their progenitors and discuss clinical relevance of the vascular effects of statins in re-endothelialization and angiogenesis.
Keywords: Endothelium, Angiogenesis, Statin, progenitor, atherosclerosis
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport