Simvastatin prevents inflammation-induced aortic stiffening and endothelial dysfunction

Sharon M L Wallace, Kaisa M. Mäki-Petäjä*, Joseph Cheriyan, Edward H. Davidson, Lynne Cherry, Carmel M. McEniery, Naveed Sattar, Ian B. Wilkinson, Rajesh K. Kharbanda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine whether simvastatin would protect against inflammation-induced aortic stiffening and endothelial dysfunction. METHODS: Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) were assessed three times, at baseline, after a 14 day administration of simvastatin or placebo and 8 h after Salmonella typhi vaccination in 50 healthy subjects. RESULTS: Following vaccination there was a significant increase in aPWV in the placebo group (5.80 ± 0.87 vs. 6.21 ± 0.97 m s-1, 95% CI 0.19, 0.62, P= 0.002) but not the simvastatin group (5.68 ± 0.73 vs. 5.72 ± 0.74 m s-1, 95% CI-0.19, 0.27, P= 0.9; P= 0.016 for comparison). Whereas FMD response was reduced in the placebo group (6.77 ± 4.10 vs. 5.27 ± 2.88%, 95% CI-2.49,-0.52, P= 0.02) but not in the simvastatin group (7.07 ± 4.37 vs. 7.17 ± 9.94%, 95% CI-1.1, 1.3. P= 0.9, P < 0.001 for comparison). There was no difference in the systemic inflammatory response between groups following vaccination. However, there was a significant reduction in serum apolipoprotein A-I (Apo A-I) in the placebo, but not in the simvastatin, group. CONCLUSIONS: Simvastatin prevents vaccination-induced aortic stiffening and endothelial dysfunction. This protective mechanism may be due to preservation of the Apo A-I lipid fraction, rather than pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects of statins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)799-806
    Number of pages8
    JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


    • Aortic stiffness
    • Apolipoprotein A-I
    • Endothelial dysfunction
    • Inflammation
    • Statins


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