The Role of Statins in Prevention of Preeclampsia: A Promise for the Future?
ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia has been linked to high morbidity and mortality during pregnancy. However, no efficient pharmacological options for the prevention of this condition are currently available. Preeclampsia is thought to share several pathophysiologic mechanisms with cardiovascular disease, which has led to investigations for the potential role of statins (HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) in its prevention and early management. Pravastatin seems to have a safer pharmacokinetic profile compared to other statins, however, the existing preclinical evidence for its effectiveness in preeclampsia treatment has been mostly restricted to animal models. This review aims to summarize the current data and delineate the potential future role of statins in the prevention and management of preeclampsia.
Project description:Preeclampsia complicates approximately 3-5% of pregnancies and remains one of the major causes of maternal and neonatal morbidity. It shares pathogenic similarities with adult cardiovascular disease as well as many risk factors. Attempts at prevention of preeclampsia using various supplements and classes of medications have failed or had limited success, and they were not convincing enough to lead to widespread adoption of any particular strategy. Contrary to the experience with preeclampsia, prevention of cardiovascular mortality and other cardiovascular events in nonpregnant patients using 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, is widely accepted. Pravastatin and other statins have been shown to reverse various pathophysiologic pathways associated with preeclampsia, such as angiogenic imbalance, endothelial injury, inflammation, and oxidative stress. These beneficial effects are likely to contribute substantially to preventing preeclampsia and provide biological plausibility for the use of pravastatin in this setting. Pravastatin has favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profiles. In addition, animal studies and human pregnancy exposure data do not support teratogenicity claims for pravastatin. Therefore, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Obstetric--Fetal Pharmacology Research Units Network started a pilot trial to collect maternal--fetal safety data and to evaluate pravastatin pharmacokinetics when used as a prophylactic daily treatment in high-risk pregnant women (identifier NCT01717586, clinicaltrials.gov).
Project description:Statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway (CBP), and are used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The anti-inflammatory effects of statins may also provide therapeutic benefits and have led to their use in clinical trials for preeclampsia, a pregnancy-associated inflammatory condition, despite their current classification as category X (i.e. contraindicated during pregnancy). In the developing neocortex, products of the CBP play essential roles in proliferation and differentiation of neural stem-progenitor cells (NSPCs). To understand how statins could impact the developing brain, we studied effects of pravastatin and simvastatin on primary embryonic NSPC survival, proliferation, global transcription, and cell fate in vitro. We found that statins dose dependently decrease NSPC expansion by promoting cell death and autophagy of NSPCs progressing through the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis demonstrates an increase in expression of CBP genes following pravastatin treatment, through activation of the SREBP2 transcription factor. Co-treatment with farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), a CBP metabolite downstream of HMG-CoA reductase, reduces SREBP2 activation and pravastatin-induced PARP cleavage. Finally, pravastatin and simvastatin differentially alter NSPC cell fate and mRNA expression during differentiation, through a non-CBP dependent pathway.
Project description:Heme oxygenase (Hmox) is an endogenous system that offers protection against placental cytotoxic damage associated with preeclampsia. The Hmox1/carbon monoxide (CO) pathway inhibits soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) and soluble Endoglin (sEng). More importantly, statins induce Hmox1 and suppress the release of sFlt-1 and sEng; thus, statins and Hmox1 activators are potential novel therapeutic agents for treating preeclampsia. The contribution of the Hmox system to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia has been further indicated by the incidence of preeclampsia being reduced by a third in smokers, who had reduced levels of circulating sFlt-1. Interestingly, preeclamptic women exhale less CO compared with women with healthy pregnancies. Hmox1 is reduced prior to the increase in sFlt-1 as Hmox1 mRNA expression in the trophoblast is decreased in the first trimester in women who go on to develop preeclampsia. Induction of Hmox1 or exposure to CO or bilirubin has been shown to inhibit the release of sFlt-1 and sEng in animal models of preeclampsia. The functional benefit of statins and Hmox1 induction in women with preeclampsia is valid not only because they inhibit sFlt-1 release, but also because statins and Hmox1 are associated with anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. The StAmP trial is the first randomized control trial (RCT) evaluating the use of pravastatin to ameliorate severe preeclampsia. This proof-of-concept study will pave the way for future global RCT, the success of which will greatly contribute to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG4 and MDG5) and offering an affordable and easily accessible therapy for preeclampsia.
Project description:dyslipidemia is common and is often treated with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins). Little is known about the comparative effectiveness of statins among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. This study compared the effectiveness and toxicity of statins among HIV-infected patients in clinical care.we conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients starting their initial statin medications at 2 large HIV clinics (N = 700). The primary observation was change in lipid levels during statin therapy. Secondary observations included whether individualized National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) goals for low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) levels were reached, and toxicity rates. We used linear regression to examine change in lipid levels, controlling for baseline lipid values and demographic and clinical characteristics. We conducted secondary analyses using propensity scores to address confounding by indication.the most commonly prescribed statins were atorvastatin (N = 303), pravastatin (N = 280), and rosuvastatin (N = 95). One year after starting a statin therapy, patients who received atorvastatin or rosuvastatin had significantly greater decreases in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and non-HDL-C than patients on pravastatin. The likelihood of reaching NCEP goals for LDL-C levels was higher with the use of rosuvastatin (OR 2.1; P = .03) and atorvastatin (odds ratio [OR], 2.1; P = .001) compared with that of pravastatin. The likelihood of reaching NCEP goals for non-HDL-C levels was higher for rosuvastatin (OR 2.3; P = .045) but not atorvastatin (OR, 1.5; P = .1) compared with pravastatin. Toxicity rates were similar for all 3 statins: 7.3% for atorvastatin, 6.1% for pravastatin, and 5.3% for rosuvastatin.our findings suggest that atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are preferable to pravastatin for treatment of HIV-infected patients with dyslipidemia, due to greater declines in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and non-HDL-C, with similar lower toxicity rates.
Project description:Pilot-scale libraries of eight-membered medium ring lactams (MRLs) and related tricyclic compounds (either seven-membered lactams, thiolactams or amines) were screened for their ability to inhibit the catalytic activity of human recombinant 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase in vitro. A dozen of the synthetic compounds mimic the inhibition of purified HMG-CoA reductase activity caused by pravastatin, fluvastatin and sodium salts of lovastatin, mevastatin and simvastatin in this cell-free assay, suggesting direct interaction with the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, several MRLs inhibit the metabolic activity of L1210 tumor cells in vitro to a greater degree than fluvastatin, lovastatin, mevastatin and simvastatin, whereas pravastatin is inactive. Although the correlation between the concentration-dependent inhibitions of HMG-CoA reductase activity over 10 min in the cell-free assay and L1210 tumor cell proliferation over 4 days in culture is unclear, some bioactive MRLs elicit interesting combinations of statin-like (IC50: 7.4-8.0 microM) and anti-tumor (IC50: 1.4-2.3 microM) activities. The HMG-CoA reductase-inhibiting activities of pravastatin and an MRL persist in the presence of increasing concentrations of NADPH. But increasing concentrations of HMG-CoA block the HMG-CoA reductase-inhibiting activity of pravastatin without altering that of an MRL, suggesting that MRLs and existing statins may have different mechanisms of enzyme interaction and inhibition. When tested together, suboptimal concentrations of synthetic MRLs and existing statins have additive inhibitory effects on HMG-CoA reductase activity. Preliminary molecular docking studies with MRL-based inhibitors indicate that these ligands fit sterically well into the HMG-CoA reductase statin-binding receptor model and, in contrast to mevastatin, may occupy a narrow channel housing the pyridinium moiety on NADP+.
Project description:1. The results of several clinical studies investigating the effect of statin therapy on the fibrinolytic system in vivo are inconclusive. We compared the effect of six different statins (atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin) on components of the fibrinolytic system expressed by human vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells and by the human hepatoma cell line HepG2. 2. All statins used except pravastatin significantly decreased PAI-1 production in human endothelial and smooth muscle cells. This effect was also seen in the presence of IL-1 alpha and TNF-alpha. All statins except pravastatin increased t-PA production in human smooth muscle cells. On a molar basis cerivastatin was the most effective HMG CoA reductase inhibitor used. Only simvastatin and lovastatin increased t-PA production in endothelial cells. The effects on the fibrinolytic system were reversed by mevalonate. Statins decreased mRNA levels for PAI-1 in endothelial and smooth muscle cells and increased mRNA levels for t-PA in smooth muscle cells. Statins did not affect PAI-1 expression in HepG2 cells. Cell viability was not influenced by statins in endothelial cells and HepG2 cells whereas in smooth muscle cells a cytotoxic effect was seen at high concentrations. 3. If the effects on the fibrinolytic system of vascular cells in vitro shown in this study are also operative in vivo one could speculate that by increasing t-PA and decreasing PAI-1 at sites of vascular lesions statins might reduce fibrin formation and thrombus development. Such an effect might contribute to the clinically proven benefits of statin therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Preeclampsia complicates approximately 3-5% of pregnancies and remains a major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. It shares pathogenic similarities with adult cardiovascular disease as well as many risk factors. Pravastatin, a hydrophilic, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, has been shown in preclinical studies to reverse various pathophysiological pathways associated with preeclampsia, providing biological plausibility for its use for preeclampsia prevention. However, human trials are lacking. OBJECTIVE:As an initial step in evaluating the utility of pravastatin in preventing preeclampsia and after consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration, we undertook a pilot randomized controlled trial with the objective to determine pravastatin safety and pharmacokinetic parameters when used in pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia. STUDY DESIGN:We conducted a pilot, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of women with singleton, nonanomalous pregnancies at high risk for preeclampsia. Women between 12(0/7) and 16(6/7) weeks' gestation were assigned to daily pravastatin 10 mg or placebo orally until delivery. Primary outcomes were maternal-fetal safety and pharmacokinetic parameters of pravastatin during pregnancy. Secondary outcomes included rates of preeclampsia and preterm delivery, gestational age at delivery, birthweight, and maternal and cord blood lipid profile (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01717586). RESULTS:Ten women assigned to pravastatin and 10 to placebo completed the trial. There were no differences between the 2 groups in rates of study drug side effects, congenital anomalies, or other adverse or serious adverse events. There was no maternal, fetal, or neonatal death. Pravastatin renal clearance was significantly higher in pregnancy compared with postpartum. Four subjects in the placebo group developed preeclampsia compared with none in the pravastatin group. Although pravastatin reduced maternal cholesterol concentrations, umbilical cord cholesterol concentrations and infant birthweight were not different between the groups. The majority of umbilical cord and maternal pravastatin plasma concentrations at the time of delivery were below the lower limit of quantification of the assay. Pravastatin use was associated with a more favorable pregnancy angiogenic profile. CONCLUSION:This study provides preliminary safety and pharmacokinetic data regarding the use of pravastatin for preventing preeclampsia in high-risk pregnant women. Although the data are preliminary, no identifiable safety risks were associated with pravastatin use in this cohort. This favorable risk-benefit analysis justifies using pravastatin in a larger clinical trial with dose escalation.
Project description:Preeclampsia is a relatively common pregnancy-related disorder. Both maternal and fetal lives will be endangered if it proceeds unabated. Recently, the placenta-derived anti-angiogenic factors, such as soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFLT1) and soluble endoglin (sENG), have attracted attention in the progression of preeclampsia. Here, we established a unique experimental model to test the role of sFLT1 in preeclampsia using a lentiviral vector-mediated placenta-specific expression system. The model mice showed hypertension and proteinuria during pregnancy, and the symptoms regressed after parturition. Intrauterine growth restriction was also observed. We further showed that pravastatin induced the VEGF-like angiogenic factor placental growth factor (PGF) and ameliorated the symptoms. We conclude that our experimental preeclamptic murine model phenocopies the human case, and the model identifies low-dose statins and PGF as candidates for preeclampsia treatment.
Project description:Pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are at a high risk of obstetrical complications. The current standard of care, including the use of low-dose aspirin and heparin, has not been shown to prevent preeclampsia or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Due to the similarities in pathophysiology among preeclampsia, IUGR, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, statins have been proposed for treating and/or preventing these obstetrical complications. In this issue of the JCI, Lefkou et al. report on a small, observational trial that showed a dramatic improvement in both maternal and fetal/neonatal outcomes in women with APS given pravastatin after the onset of preeclampsia and/or IUGR compared with women in the control group. These results, along with other recent clinical studies, support further evaluation of statins for prevention of preeclampsia in a large-scale randomized clinical trial.
Project description:The anti-inflammatory effects of statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) within the cardiovascular system are well-established; however, their neuroinflammatory potential is unclear. It is currently unknown whether statins' neurological effects are lipid-dependent or due to pleiotropic mechanisms. Therefore, the assumption that all statin compounds will have the same effect within the central nervous system is potentially inappropriate, with no studies to date having compared all statins in a single model. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the effects of the six statins (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin) within a single in vitro model of neuroinflammation. To achieve this, PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells were used as surrogate microglial cells, and LPS was used to induce inflammatory conditions. Here, we show that pretreatment with all statins was able to significantly reduce LPS-induced interleukin (IL)-1? and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-? release, as well as decrease LPS-induced prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Similarly, global reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) production were decreased following pretreatment with all statins. Based on these findings, it is suggested that more complex cellular models should be considered to further compare individual statin compounds, including translation into in vivo models of acute and/or chronic neuroinflammation.