Statin reduces cerebrovascular events independent of its cholesterol lowering effect. We hypothesized that statin inhibits early atherosclerotic change in common carotid artery (CCA), and investigated its effect on lectin-like oxidized-LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression, both of which are early atherosclerotic markers. Stroke-prone spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR-SP) of 8 weeks old were orally treated with vehicle or simvastatin (20mg/kg) daily. After 4 weeks of simvastatin or vehicle treatment, or 2 weeks of vehicle and 2 weeks of simvastatin treatment, CCA was removed. LOX-1 and MCP-1 expression as well as macrophage infiltration were histologically investigated. Lipid deposition was also investigated by Sudan III staining. Simvastatin groups showed significantly smaller amount of lipid deposition and LOX-1 and MCP-1 expression, independent of serum lipid levels. Macrophage infiltration was also decreased. Reduction of cerebrovascular events by statins may be brought by the direct inhibition of atherosclerotic change.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, carotid artery, hyperlipidemia, lectin-like oxidized-LDL receptor-1, lipid deposition, macrophage infiltration, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, statin
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