Lipophilic statins but not hydrophilic statins attenuate human atrial myofibroblast viability and induce apoptosis in vitro
Hydroxymethylgluteryl-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are commonly used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. These drugs have been shown to induce cell death in various cell types. It is unclear if this is a class effect or a phenomenon specific to certain compounds. We hypothesize that lipophilic statins induce cell death in primary human atrial myofibroblasts (hATMF) whereas hydrophilic statins do not. hATMF were treated with atorvastatin, simvastatin (lipophilic statins) or pravastatin (hydrophilic statin). Cell viability was assessed using MTT assay. Induction of apoptosis and autophagy were estimated with western blot analysis. We found that lipophilic statin treatment of hATMF reduced cell viability in a time and dose-dependent manner and increased expression of apoptotic markers. These effects were not observed with the hydrophilic statin. In conclusion, there are substantial differences between various compounds in the statin family. These differences should be considered when selecting a drug for a particular patient.
hATMF, human atrial myofibroblasts