Pitavastatin effect on ATP binding cassette A1-mediated lipid efflux from macrophages: Evidence for liver X receptor (LXR)-dependent and LXR-independent mechanisms of activation by cAMP

Ilaria Zanotti, Francesco Potì, Elda Favari, Knut R. Steffensen, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Franco Bernini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The promotion of lipid efflux from macrophages is an important ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1)-mediated antiatherosclerotic mechanism that prevents peripheral tissues from foam cell accumulation. Statins exert beneficial antiatherosclerotic effects on cardiovascular disease correlated to the cholesterol-lowering properties and the pleiotropic activities. In this work, we investigated the ability of statins to modulate ABCA1-mediated lipid efflux from macrophages, where the protein expression was differently induced. Pitavastatin (0.1-10 μM) and compactin (10 μM) reduced both cholesterol and phospholipid efflux up to 60% from macrophages expressing ABCA1 upon treatment with 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cyclic AMP (cpt-cAMP), and this was secondary to a reduction of ABCA1 mRNA and protein content. Conversely, statins did not affect ABCA1 activity when the protein was up-regulated by 22-hydroxycholesterol/9-cis-retinoic acid or through cholesterol loading. Statin inhibition of lipid efflux induced by cpt-cAMP was reversed in the presence of mevalonate, 22-hydroxycholesterol, and cholesterol but not geranyl geraniol. In macrophages obtained from liver X receptor (LXR)-deficient mice, cpt-cAMP still promoted cholesterol efflux, but pitavastatin did not exert any effect. The present work shows that statins may inhibit ABCA1-mediated lipid efflux in macrophages only when ABCA1 protein expression is induced by cpt-cAMP and provides evidence that cAMP may activate ABCA1 independently of an increase of intracellular sterol synthesis but through at least two pathways: one independent of LXR and one involving an intracellular sterol(s) acting as LXR ligand(s). In addition, the lack of inhibitory effect on lipid efflux in cholesterol-loaded macrophages is likely to exclude a potential negative pleiotropic effect by statins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume317
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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