Statins may have mitochondria and cardiac cell damaging properties.


Basic Res Cardiol. 2024 Feb 2. Epub 2024 Feb 2. PMID: 38305903

Abstract Title: 

Statins affect human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes by interfering with mitochondrial function and intracellular acidification.


Statins are effective drugs in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis. These effects are primarily beneficial for the patient's vascular system. A significant number of statin users suffer from muscle complaints probably due to mitochondrial dysfunction, a mechanism that has recently been elucidated. This has raised our interest in exploring the effects of statins on cardiac muscle cells in an era where the elderly and patients with poorer functioning hearts and less metabolic spare capacity start dominating our patient population. Here, we investigated the effects of statins on human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-derived CMs). hiPSC-derived CMs were exposed to simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, and cerivastatin at increasing concentrations. Metabolic assays and fluorescent microscopy were employed to evaluate cellular viability, metabolic capacity, respiration, intracellular acidity, and mitochondrial membrane potential and morphology. Over a concentration range of 0.3-100 µM, simvastatin lactone and atorvastatin acid showed a significant reduction in cellular viability by 42-64%. Simvastatin lactone was the most potent inhibitor of basal and maximal respiration by 56% and 73%, respectively, whereas simvastatin acid and cerivastatin acid only reduced maximal respiration by 50% and 42%, respectively. Simvastatin acid and lactone and atorvastatin acid significantly decreased mitochondrial membrane potential by 20%, 6% and 3%, respectively. The more hydrophilic atorvastatin acid did not seem to affect cardiomyocyte metabolism. This calls for further research on the translatability to the clinical setting, in which a more conscientious approach to statin prescribing might be considered, especially regarding the current shift in population toward older patients with poor cardiac function.

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#Statins #mitochondria #cardiac #cell #damaging #properties

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