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17 August 2019 : Animal Research  

Atorvastatin Induces Hepatotoxicity in Diabetic Rats via Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Anti-Apoptotic Pathway

Hanqing Zeng1ABCFG*, Zhongtao Liu2ABCDE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915790

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:6165-6173


BACKGROUND: Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) commonly receive statins to suppress vulnerability to adverse cardiovascular events. It has been clinically proven that hepatotoxicity is one of the most severe adverse effects of statins.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We constructed diabetic rat models by feeding rats with high-fat food and by injection of low-dose STZ. Rats were randomized into 2 groups: a DM group (n=10) and a control (CON) group (n=5). CON rats received a normal diet, whereas DM rats ate high-fat food. Rats in the DM group underwent intraperitoneal STZ (35 mg/kg) injection following 6-week diet restriction. On the seventh day following STZ or blank injection, rats with FBG concentration over 11.1 mM were regarded as successfully established models and were used for further research.

RESULTS: We showed that severe liver injury occurred in diabetic rats treated with 20 mg/kg atorvastatin, as evidenced by attenuation of liver enzyme activities, elevation of bilirubin levels, and alterations in the hepatic architecture, including hepatocyte death by necrosis, lymphocyte infiltration, and fibrosis. We also found that atorvastatin increased the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors such as L-1, TNF, IL-6, and IL-18 by enhancing activation of the NF-B signal pathway in the livers of diabetic rats. Atorvastatin elevated the levels of ROS and reduced the antioxidant enzyme (SOD and CAT) activities. Atorvastatin also increased the expression of anti-apoptotic protein BCL2 and decreased the expression of pro-apoptotic protein BAX in the livers of diabetic rats.

CONCLUSIONS: Atorvastatin exerts potentially hepatotoxic effects on diabetic rats by modulating oxidative/antioxidative status, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and apoptosis inhibition.

Keywords: Metabolic Detoxication, Phase I, Mitochondrial Diseases, Respiratory Burst, atorvastatin, Blood Glucose, Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury, Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental, Hepatocytes, Liver

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750