Liver mitochondrial respiratory function and coenzyme Q content in rats on a hypercholesterolemic diet treated with atorvastatin.
Physiol Res. 2012 Apr 20 ;61(2):185-93. Epub 2012 Jan 31. PMID: 22292717
Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statins, inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, are effective drugs in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, however, their undesirable actions are not fully known. We investigated the effects of atorvastatin on the oxidative phosphorylation and membrane fluidity in liver mitochondria, and also on the coenzyme Q (CoQ) content in the mitochondria, liver tissue, and plasma of rats on a standard (C) and hypercholesterolemic (HCh) diet. Atorvastatin was administered at either low (10 mg kg(-1)) or high dose (80 mg kg(-1)) for four weeks. The high dose of the drug decreased the concentrations of total cholesterol and triacylglycerols in the plasma and liver of rats on a HCh diet. Administration of atorvastatin was associated with decreased oxygen uptake (state 3), and oxidative phosphorylation rate in the mitochondria of both C and HCh rats. Further, the drug influenced mitochondrial membrane fluidity and dose-dependently reduced concentrations of oxidized and reduced forms of CoQ in the mitochondria. Our findings point to an association between in vivo administration of atorvastatin and impaired bioenergetics in the liver mitochondria of rats, regardless of diet, in conjunction with simultaneous depletion of oxidized and reduced CoQ forms from the mitochondria. This fact may play a significant role in the development of statin-induced hepatopathy.