Atorvastatin Treatment in the Short Term: Does It Induce Renoprotection or Vasculoprotection in Renal Transplantation?

M. Navarro-Muñoz, J. Bonet, B. Bayés, R. Lauzurica, S. Blanco, R. Romero

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Abstract

Introduction: Proteinuria and dyslipidemia are nonimmune risk factors implicated in the deterioration of kidney function and associated with an increased risk of accelerated atherogenesis. Statin therapy, used for cholesterol reduction, has shown a renoprotective effect in animal models, particularly in cases of proteinuria. This may occur through lipid-independent mechanisms, such as improved endothelial dysfunction/vascular biology, reduced inflammatory cytokine production (transforming growth factor-beta 1 [TGF-β1]), and regulation of fibrogenic responses. We studied mechanisms of action of agents, such as statins, to change proteinuria, inflammatory parameters, and TGF-β1 plasma levels in relation to vascular tone. Methods: Fifty-six kidney transplant recipients (30 men and 26 women of overall mean age 54 +/- 13 years) were treated posttransplantation with atorvastatin (10 mg/d) for 12 weeks without renin-angiotensin-system blockade drugs. Inflammatory variables, biochemical parameters, lipid profile, renal function, and TGF-β1 levels were determined at baseline and at 3 months. Vascular stiffness was evaluated using pulse wave velocity (PWV). Results: Baseline TGF-β1 plasma levels were higher among transplant recipients than healthy controls, namely 8.12 ng/mL (range, 5.82-13.12) to 2.55 (range, 1.78- 4.35) (P < .01). Furthermore, the levels remained higher after the treatment with atorvastatin, namely, 7.59 (range, 4.97-12.35) to 2.55 (range, 1.78-4.35) ng/mL (P < .01). Atorvastatin treatment significantly decreased total cholesterol as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol plasma levels, but did not modify mean blood pressure (MBP), proteinuria, creatinine clearance, or inflammatory factors. Reduction in TGF-β1 plasma levels was statistically significant among patients with PWV >9.75 (m/s) (pathology reference value) namely, from 10.7 ng/mL (range, 7.02-13.98) to 6.7 (range, 3.96-11.94) (P = .038). Among older patients, atorvastatin significantly decrease TGF-β1 plasma levels: from 9.5 ng/mL (range, 6.45-14.44) to 5.65 (range, 3.63-9.48; P < .05). The decreased TGF-β1 was not related to changes in lipid profiles. Conclusions: Atorvastatin (10 mg/d) improved the lipid profile and moreover among older patients with worse PWV (>9.75 m/s), TGF-β1 levels were significantly reduced. Our results suggested that statins displayed potent actions distinct from their hypolipidemic effects. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2259-2263
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007

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