Aim: Although statins increase the plasma concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), it has not been elucidated whether the increased HDL particles possess normal antiatherosclerotic properties. Pitavastatin functions to increase the plasma HDL-C level and decrease the lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level. In the present study, we sought to examine the qualitative changes in HDL during pitavastatin treatment.
Methods: A total of 30 patients with dyslipidemia were treated with 2 mg of pitavastatin for four weeks. The cholesterol efflux capacity and activities of the antioxidative enzymes paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) and platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) were evaluated using polyethethylene glycol-treated HDL fractions before and after pitavastatin treatment.
Results: Pitavastatin treatment decreased the serum LDL-C level by 39% and increased the serum HDL-C level by 9% (p＜0.05). In addition, pitavastatin increased the phospholipid content of HDL by 7.8% (p＜0.05). The pitavastatin-induced increase in the HDL-C level coincided with an increase in the cholesterol efflux capacity of the isolated HDL fraction of 8.6% (p＜0.05). The post-pitavastatin treatment activity of HDL-associated PON-1 (paraoxonase and arylesterase) was increased by 9% (p＜0.05) and 11% (p＜0.05), respectively, while the HDL-associated PAF-AH activity was not affected by pitavastatin.
Conclusions: In addition to its LDL-C-lowering effects, pitavastatin elevates the HDL-C level and enhances the cholesterol efflux capacity and antioxidative properties of HDL. Pitavastatin therefore increases the amount of functional HDL without attenuating HDL quality.