Volume 16 Supplement 3
Effects of statins on mitochondrial respiration and outcome during experimental sepsis
© Morel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
Published: 14 November 2012
Statins target several mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of sepsis, leading to their consideration as an adjuvant therapy. Ubiquinone is an important mitochondrial antioxidant and constituent of the electron transport chain. Ubiquinone production is inhibited by statins, whereas sepsis itself also affects mitochondrial activity. The impact of statins on mitochondrial function in sepsis has not been previously explored.
Sepsis was induced in instrumented, awake, male Wistar rats by i.p. injection of faecal slurry. Fluid resuscitation was provided by continuous intravenous infusion. Simvastatin 20 mg/kg bd was administrated by gavage commencing either 3 days pre-sepsis (pre-treatment) or from 6 hours post-sepsis (post-treatment). A control group received only vehicle but no active drug (vehicle). Survival was assessed at 72 hours (16 per group). In a second set of experiments, rats were sacrificed at 24 hours post-sepsis (seven per group) for measurement of: plasma biochemistry and simvastatin acid; heart and muscle ubiquinone levels by HPLC; and oxygen consumption on permeabilized soleus muscle fibers in a Clark electrode chamber. A fourth group of naive animals was also used as healthy controls. Statistics were performed using the Wilcoxon test and repeated-measures ANOVA and post hoc Bonferroni test.
This study confirms the beneficial effect of statins when given before the onset of sepsis, and this appear to be independent of its lipid-lowering property. This beneficial effect is likely to be multifactorial but could be attributed in part to a protective effect on mitochondrial respiration.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.