Simvastatin Impairs the Inflammatory and Repair Phases of the Postinjury Skeletal Muscle Regeneration.
Biomed Res Int. 2018 ;2018:7617312. Epub 2018 Nov 4. PMID: 30519583
Background: Recent clinical data have suggested that the chronic use of high-lipophilic statins impairs the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Because this activity of statins is poorly understood, we aimed to investigate the effect of simvastatin (SIM) on postinjury myofibre regeneration.
Methods: The porcine model was used in this study. The animals were divided into two groups: nontreated (control;=24) and SIM-treated (40 mg/day;=24). On the 15th day (day 0) of the experiment, a bupivacaine hydrochloride- (BPVC-) induced muscle injury was established, and the animals were sacrificed in the following days after muscle injury. The degree of regeneration was assessed based on histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations. The presence and degree of extravasation, necrosis, and inflammation in the inflammatory phase were assessed, whereas the repair phase was evaluated based on the numbers of muscle precursor cells (MPCs), myotube and young myofibres.
Results: In the inflammatory phase, SIM increased the distribution and prolonged the period of extravasation, prolonged the duration of necrosis, and prolonged and enhanced the infiltration of inflammatory cells. In the repair phase, SIM delayed and prolonged the activity of MPCs, delayed myotube formation, and delayed and decreased the formation of young myofibres. Our results indicated that SIM did not improve blood vessel stabilization at the site of the injury, did not exert an anti-inflammatory effect, prolonged and enhanced the inflammatory response, and impaired MPC activity, differentiation, and fusion. Moreover, SIM appeared to reduce M1 macrophage activity, resulting in slower removal of necrotic debris and sustained necrosis.
Conclusion: This study shows that SIM negatively affects the inflammatory and repair phases of the postinjury muscle regeneration. These findings are unique, strengthen the available knowledge on the side effects of SIM, and provide evidence showing that statin therapy is associated with an increased risk of impairment of the regenerative capacity of muscle.