Pravastatin is a foreign substrate of a sodium-independent transport system for bile acids. The tissue selectivity of pravastatin in inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase is due to the uptake via a transport system which exists predominantly in liver cells. Pravastatin competitively inhibits the sodium-independent hepatocellular uptake of cholate, taurocholate and ouabain, whereas the total uptake of cholate is non-competitively blocked. The affinity of pravastatin to the sodium-dependent taurocholate transporter is, however, low. Millimolar concentrations of pravastatin are needed to inhibit the sodium-taurocholate cotransporter. Pravastatin has no affinity to other transport systems in liver cells such as those for long-chain fatty acids, amino acids, rifampicin and bivalent organic cations.