Effect of rosuvastatin treatment on cholesterol efflux from human macrophages.

OBJECTIVES: One of the positive effects of rosuvastatin is an increase in HDL cholesterol (HDL-C). An increase in HDL-C is considered as one of the positive effects of this type of statin, although it does not necessarily correspond to the actual reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) rate. We analyzed the influence of statin induced changes in HDL-C on cholesterol efflux (CHE), the key step affecting the RCT.

DESIGN: Fourteen subjects (7 men, age: 50.9 ± 8.4 years and 7 women, age: 59.7 ± 10.6 years) with mixed dyslipidemia received 20 mg of rosuvastatin daily for 3 months. Before the initiation of statin therapy and at the end of the study period, the CHE from 14C cholesterol-labeled macrophages was determined in addition to parameters related to lipid metabolism. CHE was calculated as the percentage of radioactivity released from the macrophages into the media containing 5% of the examined plasma.

RESULTS: The rosuvastatin administration resulted in significant reductions of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B and a significant increase in HDL-C (from 1.43 mmol/l to 1.52 mmol/l, p=0.05), while the levels of apolipoprotein A1 remained unchanged. There was no significant increase in CHE (from 16.1% to 17.6%, p for trend = 0.053). Individual changes in HDL-C correlated significantly (p<0.05) with individual changes of CHE (r=0.76).

CONCLUSION: Administration of rosuvastatin increases HDL-C, and individual changes correlate with the individual increases of CHE from macrophages.