Effects of atorvastatin on blood-brain barrier permeability during L-NAME hypertension followed by angiotensin-II in rats.

Research Institute for Experimental Medicine, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 06/2005; 1042(2):184-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2005.02.044
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies suggest that 3-hydroxy-3 methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, statins, can have direct effects on blood vessels beyond their cholesterol-lowering effects. We investigated the effects of atorvastatin on the functional and structural properties of blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the activity of astrocytes during the N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) hypertension followed by angiotensin (ANG) II. We found that decreases in concentration of serum catalase and plasma nitric oxide (NO) induced by L-NAME were significantly ameliorated by atorvastatin, whereas L-NAME-induced serum malondialdehyde and cholesterol concentration increases were significantly reduced by atorvastatin. The content of Evans blue (EB) dye significantly increased in cerebellum, left cerebral cortex and diencephalon regions but atorvastatin markedly reduced the increased BBB permeability to EB in the brain regions of animals treated with L-NAME and L-NAME plus ANG II. Brain vessels of L-NAME-treated animals showed a considerable loss of immunoreactivity of tight junction proteins, zonula occludens (ZO)-1 and occludin. Immunoreactivity for ZO-1 and occludin increased in animals treated with atorvastatin and L-NAME plus atorvastatin. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity was seen in few astrocytes in the brain sections of L-NAME, but immunoreactivity for GFAP increased in L-NAME plus atorvastatin-treated animals. We suggest that long-term L-NAME treatment may affect BBB permeability through disruption of tight junction proteins, at least partly, via decreased NO concentration and increased oxidant capacity; the improvement of BBB integrity and astrocytic activity would be more closely associated with the action of atorvastatin favoring the increase in anti-oxidant capacity and expression of tight junction proteins and GFAP.

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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of lipopolysachharide (LPS) on functional and structural properties of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced epileptic seizures in rats. Arterial blood pressure was significantly elevated during epileptic seizures irrespective of LPS pretreatment. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-1, interleukin (IL)-6, nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) increased while catalase concentrations decreased in animals treated with LPS, PTZ and LPS plus PTZ. The significantly increased BBB permeability to Evans blue (EB) dye in the cerebral cortex, diencephalon and cerebellum regions of rats by PTZ-induced seizures was markedly reduced upon LPS pretreatment. Immunoreactivity for tight junction proteins, zonula occludens-1 and occludin, did not change in brain vessels of animals treated with PTZ and LPS plus PTZ. Glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity was increased in LPS, but not in PTZ and LPS plus PTZ. These results indicate that LPS pretreatment reduces the passage of EB dye bound to albumin into the brain, at least partly, by increasing plasma NO and IL-6 levels during PTZ-induced epileptic seizures. We suggest that LPS may provide protective effects on the BBB integrity during epileptic seizures through transcellular pathway, since the paracellular route remained unaffected by LPS and LPS plus PTZ.
    Life Sciences 06/2006; 79(1):1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.lfs.2005.12.035 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Résumé Introduction L’amlodipine et l’atorvastatine offrent des avantages thérapeutiques au-delà de leur indication primaire, soit la réduction de la pression artérielle et des lipides sanguins, respectivement. L’amlodipine induit l’apoptose des cellules de muscle lisse vasculaire (CMLV) in vivo, contribuant à la régression de l'hypertrophie aortique chez le rat spontanément hypertendu (SHR). L'atorvastatine induit l’apoptose des CMLV in vitro, un effet proportionnel à la dose. Toutefois, cet effet reste à être démontré in vivo. Nous postulons que l’atorvastatine induira la régression de l’hypertrophie aortique via l’apoptose des CMLV chez le SHR, et que la combinaison de l’amlodipine et de l’atorvastatine aura un effet synergique sur la régression de l’hypertrophie aortique via l’apoptose des CMLV chez le SHR. Méthodologie L’amlodipine et l’atorvastatine ont été administrées à des SHR âgés de 11 semaines durant trois ou six semaines, individuellement ou en combinaison. Les points principaux à l'étude étaient le remodelage vasculaire et la pression artérielle. La fragmentation et le contenu en ADN, le stress oxydant, le taux de cholestérol et les niveaux de nitrates ont aussi été mesurés. Résultats Lorsque l’atorvastatine a été administrée seule, une diminution significative du stress oxydant et de la pression artérielle a été observée après trois et six semaines de traitement, respectivement. Par contre, aucune différence n’a pu être décelée quant au remodelage vasculaire. L'amlodipine a réduit la pression artérielle et l'hypertrophie aortique de façon dépendante de la dose. Une diminution significative de l'hyperplasie a été détectée après trois semaines de traitement avec la combinaison, et après six semaines avec une faible dose d'amlodipine. Conclusion Nos résultats ne supportent pas l'hypothèse que l'atorvastatine induit l'apoptose des CMLV in vivo. Par contre, lorsque combinée à l'amlodipine, elle pourrait ajouter un bénéfice supplémentaire au niveau de la réduction de l'hyperplasie aortique. Abstract Background and purpose Antihypertensive drugs such as the calcium channel blocker (CCB) amlodipine and cholesterol lowering agents such as statins exhibit pleiotropic effects. Amlodipine reduces aortic hypertrophy and hyperplasia in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) by inducing a transient wave of apoptosis. Atorvastatin induces apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) in vitro, independently of cholesterol synthesis, an effect that remains to be shown in vivo. The present studies were designed to test the hypothesis that atorvastatin can induce vascular remodeling by VSMC apoptosis in vivo in SHR, and to test whether combined therapy with low dose amlodipine would provide synergistic effects on regression of aortic hypertrophy. Experimental approach 11-week old SHR were given atorvastatin and amlodipine, alone or in combination, for three or six weeks. Primary end-points were vascular remodeling and blood pressure. Secondary end-points included DNA fragmentation and content in the aorta, oxidative stress, cholesterol and serum total nitrite and nitrate (NOx) concentrations. Key results Treatment with atorvastatin did not modify vascular structure, although it significantly reduced oxidative stress after three weeks and blood pressure after six weeks. Amlodipine dose-dependently reduced blood pressure and aortic hypertrophy. Significant reduction of cellular hyperplasia was reached after 6 weeks with a low dose of amlodipine alone or after 3 weeks when atorvastatin was combined with low dose amlodipine. Conclusions and implications Our results do not support the notion that atorvastatin induces VSMC apoptosis in vivo, although the data suggest a possible interaction with amlodipine in reducing VSMC hyperplasia in the hypertensive aorta.