Torcetrapib induces aldosterone and cortisol production by an intracellular calcium-mediated mechanism independently of cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition.
ABSTRACT ILLUMINATE (Investigation of Lipid Level Management to Understand its Impact in Atherosclerotic Events), the phase 3 morbidity and mortality trial of torcetrapib, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, identified previously undescribed changes in plasma levels of potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, and aldosterone. A key question after this trial is whether the failure of torcetrapib was a result of CETP inhibition or of some other pharmacology of the molecule. The direct effects of torcetrapib and related molecules on adrenal steroid production were assessed in cell culture using the H295R as well as the newly developed HAC15 human adrenal carcinoma cell lines. Torcetrapib induced the synthesis of both aldosterone and cortisol in these two in vitro cell systems. Analysis of steroidogenic gene expression indicated that torcetrapib significantly induced the expression of CYP11B2 and CYP11B1, two enzymes in the last step of aldosterone and cortisol biosynthesis pathway, respectively. Transcription profiling indicated that torcetrapib and angiotensin II share overlapping pathways in regulating adrenal steroid biosynthesis. Hormone-induced steroid production is mainly mediated by two messengers, calcium and cAMP. An increase of intracellular calcium was observed after torcetrapib treatment, whereas cAMP was unchanged. Consistent with intracellular calcium being the key mediator of torcetrapib's effect in adrenal cells, calcium channel blockers completely blocked torcetrapib-induced corticoid release and calcium increase. A series of compounds structurally related to torcetrapib as well as structurally distinct compounds were profiled. The results indicate that the pressor and adrenal effects observed with torcetrapib and related molecules are independent of CETP inhibition.
Article: Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease: evidence and guidance for management.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Even at low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal, patients with cardiometabolic abnormalities remain at high risk of cardiovascular events. This paper aims (i) to critically appraise evidence for elevated levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) as cardiovascular risk factors, and (ii) to advise on therapeutic strategies for management. Current evidence supports a causal association between elevated TRL and their remnants, low HDL-C, and cardiovascular risk. This interpretation is based on mechanistic and genetic studies for TRL and remnants, together with the epidemiological data suggestive of the association for circulating triglycerides and cardiovascular disease. For HDL, epidemiological, mechanistic, and clinical intervention data are consistent with the view that low HDL-C contributes to elevated cardiovascular risk; genetic evidence is unclear however, potentially reflecting the complexity of HDL metabolism. The Panel believes that therapeutic targeting of elevated triglycerides (≥ 1.7 mmol/L or 150 mg/dL), a marker of TRL and their remnants, and/or low HDL-C (<1.0 mmol/L or 40 mg/dL) may provide further benefit. The first step should be lifestyle interventions together with consideration of compliance with pharmacotherapy and secondary causes of dyslipidaemia. If inadequately corrected, adding niacin or a fibrate, or intensifying LDL-C lowering therapy may be considered. Treatment decisions regarding statin combination therapy should take into account relevant safety concerns, i.e. the risk of elevation of blood glucose, uric acid or liver enzymes with niacin, and myopathy, increased serum creatinine and cholelithiasis with fibrates. These recommendations will facilitate reduction in the substantial cardiovascular risk that persists in patients with cardiometabolic abnormalities at LDL-C goal.European Heart Journal 06/2011; 32(11):1345-61. · 10.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic studies indicate a strong inverse correlation between plasma levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The most relevant cardioprotective mechanism mediated by HDL is thought to be reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). New insights in HDL biology and RCT have allowed the development of promising agents aimed to increase HDL function and promote atherosclerosis regression. In this regard, apo-AI analogs and CETP inhibitors dalcetrapib and anacetrapib have aroused a great interest and opened new expectations in the treatment of CVD.Lipids in Health and Disease 01/2011; 10:175. · 2.17 Impact Factor