Effects of lovastatin on hepatic fatty acid metabolism

Lipids. 1993 Dec;28(12):1087-93. doi: 10.1007/BF02537075.


The in vitro and in vivo effects of lovastatin on fatty acid metabolism were studied in isolated rat hepatocytes. When added in vitro to cell incubations, lovastatin stimulated de novo fatty acid synthesis and acetyl-CoA carboxylase activity, whereas fatty acid synthase activity was unaffected. Lovastatin depressed palmitate, but not octanoate, oxidation. This may be attributed to the lovastatin-induced increase in intracellular malonyl-CoA levels, as no concomitant change of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-I) specific activity was detected. Lovastatin had no effect on the synthesis and secretion of triacylglycerols and phospholipids in the form of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). When rats were fed a diet supplemented with 0.1% (w/w) lovastatin for one week, both acetyl-CoA carboxylase activity and de novo fatty acid synthesis were reduced compared to pair-fed controls, whereas fatty acid synthase activity was unaffected. Palmitate oxidation was enhanced in the lovastatin-fed group. There was an increase in CPT-I activity but no change in intracellular concentration of malonyl-CoA. Lovastatin feeding had no significant effect either on the esterification of exogenous palmitic acid into both cellular and VLDL triacylglycerols and phospholipids or on hepatic lipid accumulation. The in vitro and in vivo effects of lovastatin were not significantly different between periportal and perivenous hepatocytes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / drug effects
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / drug effects
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lovastatin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lovastatin
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase
  • Fatty Acid Synthases
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase