Statin therapy increases vascular sensitivity to angiotensin II in hypercholesterolaemic patients

Justein S N Sim, John B C Dick, Allan D Struthers

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction Cross-talk between various cardiovascular risk factors has been suggested by a number of studies. This study examines the interaction between hypercholesterolaemia and the renin-angiotensin system in vivo in man.

    Methods We performed a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study on 40 hypercholesterolaemic patients, comparing cholesterol-lowering therapy with a statin for six months versus placebo. Brachial artery function was assessed by bilateral venous occlusion plethysmography using intra-arterial infusions of the endothelial-dependent vasoconstrictors, angiotensin I (Ang I) and angiotensin II (Ang II), to measure vascular angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and Ang II receptor response respectively. The endothelial-independent vasoconstrictor, noradrenaline, was used as a control vasoconstrictor. Results were analysed by multiple analysis of variance and statistical significance

    Cholesterol-lowering treatment with a statin was taken as a p value <0.05. Results Cholesterol-lowering treatment with alstatin significantly reduced the mean total cholesterol level to 5.71 mmol/L vs. 7.57 mmol/L on placebo (p<0.0001). Hypercholesterolaemia significantly increased the vasoconstriction response to noradrenaline (placebo versus statin treatment; p=0.046). In hypercholesterolaemia, there was a strong trend towards a reduction in the vasoconstriction response to Ang I (placebo versus statin treatment; p=0.089). In hypercholesterolaemia, the vasoconstriction response to Ang II was significantly reduced (placebo versus statin treatment; p=0.01).

    Conclusions Our in vivo results show that, unlike some other previous work, hypercholesterolaemia is associated with down-regulation of the vasoconstrictor response to Ang II and that statin therapy up-regulates the local vasoconstrictor response to Ang II. The possibility now arises that, in man, statins alter the balance between AT1-receptors and AT2-receptors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-13
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (JRAAS)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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