1887

Abstract

Statins are potent inhibitors of HMG–CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A) reductase in the cholesterol-biosynthesis pathway. They are either lipophilic (e.g. simvastatin) or hydrophilic [e.g. pravastatin (PRV)] compounds, considered mainly for long-term treatment of hypercholesterolaemic individuals. Beneficial effects of statins are not related exclusively to their lipid-lowering action; they also possess cholesterol-independent, pleiotropic effects (e.g. anti-inflammatory and antioxidant). Recent studies revealed that simvastatin treatment increased survival significantly in scrapie-infected mice. Although PRV treatment results in measurable drug levels in the mouse brain, the anti-prion effect of this compound has not been investigated. Therefore, we aimed to test the potential therapeutic action of PRV in a murine scrapie model. Our study showed that high-dose and long-term oral PRV treatment prolonged survival times of strain 139A scrapie-infected mice significantly (194 versus 177 days) in the absence of any obvious toxicity, suggesting that protective effects of statins may be independent of absolute solvent or water solubility of the drug.

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2009-07-01
2019-10-20
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