Background: Pitavastatin is a statin with strong pleiotropic effects, but the effects of pitavastatin on endothelial cell function (ECF) and both inflammatory cytokines and chemokines have not been fully investigated.
Material and methods: We simultaneously measured brachial artery (BA) flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation (NMD), as well as plasma biomarkers of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, in patients with hypercholesterolaemia and other atherosclerotic risk factors who were treated with pitavastatin. Sixty-five hypercholesterolaemic patients (age, 66±11 years) with conventional coronary risk factors were enrolled. BA FMD, BA NMD and serum biomarkers (tumour necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-8, P-selectin, E-selectin, soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (s-ICAM1)) were measured before and after 4 weeks of treatment with pitavastatin (2 mg/day).
Results: Pitavastatin treatment resulted in an increase from baseline to post-treatment in FMD (3.22±1.72 vs 3.97±2.18%, p<0.05) but not in NMD. Furthermore, pitavastatin treatment led to a decrease from baseline to post-treatment in E-selectin (51±27 vs 46±29 pg/mL, p<0.05) and s-ICAM1 (276±86 vs 258±91 pg/mL, p<0.05). Changes in FMD in response to pitavastatin treatment did not correlate with those of E-selectin or s-ICAM1.
Conclusions: Pitavastatin treatment resulted in a subacute improvement in ECF and a decrease in chemokine levels. These results suggest that pitavastatin might improve long-term outcomes in patients with atherosclerotic disorders.