2015 Volume 22 Issue 7 Pages 660-668
Aim: 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) are cholesterol-lowering drugs with a variety of pleiotropic effects including antithrombotic properties. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), which is produced predominantly in endothelial cells and platelets, inhibits the initiating phase of clot formation. We investigated the effect of fluvastatin on TFPI expression in cultured endothelial cells.
Methods: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with fluvastatin (0–10μM). The expression of TFPI mRNA and antigen were detected by RT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. The effects of mevalonate intermediates, small GTP-binding inhibitors, and signal transduction inhibitors were also evaluated to identify which pathway was involved. A luciferase reporter assay was performed to evaluate the effect of fluvastatin on TFPI transcription. The stability of TFPI mRNA was estimated by quantitating its levels after actinomycin D treatment.
Results: Fluvastatin increased TFPI mRNA expression and antigen in HUVECs. Fluvastatin-induced TFPI expression was reversed by co-treatment with mevalonate or geranylgeranylpyrophosphate (GGPP). NSC23766 and Y-27632 had no effect on TFPI expression. SB203580, GF109203, and LY294002 reduced fluvastatin-induced TFPI upregulation. Moreover, fluvastatin did not significantly affect TFPI promoter activity. TFPI mRNA degradation in the presence of actinomycin D was delayed by fluvastatin treatment.
Conclusions: Fluvastatin increases endothelial TFPI expression through inhibition of mevalonate-, GGPP-, and Cdc42-dependent signaling pathways, and activation of the p38 MAPK, PI3K, and PKC pathways. This study revealed unknown mechanisms of the anticoagulant effect of statins and gave a new insight to its therapeutic potential for the prevention of thrombotic diseases.