Effect of Atorvastatin on High-Density Lipoprotein Apolipoprotein A-I Production and Clearance in the New Zealand White Rabbit

S. Rashid, K.D. Uffelman, Hugh Barrett, G.F. Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Background-HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease predominantly by their LDL-lowering effect. Recently, there has been great interest in the pleiotropic effects of statins, which appear to differ among the various agents in this class. Unlike other statins, atorvastatin exhibits a decline in its HDL-raising effect at higher doses in humans. Whether atorvastatin-mediated alterations in HDL turnover in vivo contribute to this effect has not previously been investigated. We therefore studied the effect of atorvastatin on HDL apolipoprotein (apo) A-I production and clearance in normolipidemic male New Zealand White rabbits.Methods and Results-Kinetic studies of HDL-apoA-I radiolabeled with I-131 were performed in chow-fed rabbits after 3 weeks of atorvastatin treatment of 5 mg . kg(-1) . d(-1) (n = 7) versus placebo-treated rabbits (n = 7). Our results showed a significantly (P <0.001) more rapid clearance (approximate to2-fold) of HDL apoA-I in atorvastatin-treated animals compared with the control group (0.121 +/- 0.012 versus 0.061 +/- 0.004 pools/h, respectively), accompanied by a lesser 48% increase in the apoA-I production rate (3.84 +/- 0.38 versus 2.59 +/- 0.41 mg . kg(-1) - h(-1), P = 0.06). Accordingly, plasma apoA-I levels in atorvastatin-treated animals declined significantly (P <0.05, n = 8 animals) after 3 weeks of treatment (173.5 +/- 1.8 mg/dL) from baseline values.Conclusions-These data suggest that the effect on apoA-I levels observed with atorvastatin at higher drug doses in humans may be caused at least in part by enhanced HDL apoA-I catabolism, which is not entirely offset by a concomitant increase in apoA-I production. Whether this finding results from an effect of atorvastatin on HDL particle composition or on receptors involved in circulating HDL holoparticle clearance will require further study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2955-2960
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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