Acute simvastatin inhibits KATP channels of porcine coronary artery myocytes

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Background: Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors) consumption provides beneficial effects on cardiovascular systems. However, effects of statins on vascular KATP channel gatings are unknown.

Methods: Pig left anterior descending coronary artery and human left internal mammary artery were isolated and endothelium-denuded for tension measurements and Western immunoblots. Enzymatically-dissociated/cultured arterial myocytes were used for patch-clamp electrophysiological studies and for [Ca2+]i, [ATP]i and [glucose]o uptake measurements.

Results: The cromakalim (10 nM to 10 µM)- and pinacidil (10 nM to 10 µM)-induced concentration-dependent relaxation of porcine coronary artery was inhibited by simvastatin (3 and 10 µM). Simvastatin (1, 3 and 10 µM) suppressed (in okadaic acid (10 nM)-sensitive manner) cromakalim (10 µM)- and pinacidil (10 µM)-mediated opening of whole-cell KATP channels of arterial myocytes. Simvastatin (10 µM) and AICAR (1 mM) elicited a time-dependent, compound C (1 µM)-sensitive [3H]-2-deoxy-glucose uptake and an increase in [ATP]i levels. A time (2–30 min)- and concentration (0.1–10 µM)-dependent increase by simvastatin of p-AMPKα-Thr172 and p-PP2A-Tyr307 expression was observed. The enhanced p-AMPKα-Thr172 expression was inhibited by compound C, ryanodine (100 µM) and KN93 (10 µM). Simvastatin-induced p-PP2A-Tyr307 expression was suppressed by okadaic acid, compound C, ryanodine, KN93, phloridzin (1 mM), ouabain (10 µM), and in [glucose]o-free or [Na+]o-free conditions.

Conclusions: Simvastatin causes ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ release which is important for AMPKα-Thr172 phosphorylation via Ca2+/CaMK II. AMPKα-Thr172 phosphorylation causes [glucose]o uptake (and an [ATP]i increase), closure of KATP channels, and phosphorylation of AMPKα-Thr172 and PP2A-Tyr307 resulted. Phosphorylation of PP2A-Tyr307 occurs at a site downstream of AMPKα-Thr172 phosphorylation.

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