Mechanisms involved in cardioprotective effects of pravastatin administered during reoxygenation in human myocardium in vitro

Sandrine Lemoine, Stéphane Allouche, Laurent Coulbault, Valérie Cornet, Massimo Massetti, Philippe Galera, Jean-Louis Gérard, Jean-Luc Hanouz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The authors investigated the effect of pravastatin during reoxygenation after myocardial hypoxia and examined the involvement of nitric oxide synthase, mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and expression of markers of apoptosis in human myocardium in vitro.

METHODS: Human atrial trabeculae were exposed to hypoxia for 30 min and reoxygenation for 60 min (control group; n = 10). Pravastatin (5, 10, 50, 75 μM; n = 6 in each group) was administered throughout the reoxygenation. In separate groups (n = 6 in each group), pravastatin 50 μM was administered in the presence of 200 μM L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, and 50 μM atractyloside, the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opener. The primary endpoint was the developed force of contraction at the end of reoxygenation, expressed as a percentage of baseline (mean ± SD). Protein expression of BAD, phospho-BAD, caspase 3, Pim-1 kinase, and Bcl-2 were measured using Western immunoblotting.

RESULTS: The administration of 10 (77 ± 5% of baseline), 50 (86 ± 6%), and 75 μM (88 ± 13%) pravastatin improved the force of contraction at the end of reoxygenation, compared with that of the control group (49 ± 11%; P < 0.001). These beneficial effects were prevented by L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester and atractyloside. Compared with control group, the administration of 5 μM pravastatin did not modify the force of contraction. Pravastatin increased the phosphorylation of BAD, activated the expression of Pim-1 kinase and Bcl-2, and maintained the caspase 3 concentration relative to that of the respective untreated controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Pravastatin, administered at reoxygenation, protected the human myocardium by preventing the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, phosphorylating BAD, activating nitric oxide synthase, Pim-1 kinase, and Bcl-2, and preserving the myocardium against the caspase 3 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-33
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Pravastatin
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial


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