Effects of cerivastatin on adrenergic pathways, hypertrophic growth and TGFbeta expression in adult ventricular cardiomyocytes

Hagen Maxeiner, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Germany
Yaser Abdallah, Aga Khan University
Christoph Rüdiger Wolfram Kuhlmann, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany
Klaus-Dieter Schlüter, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany
Sibylle Wenzel, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


The effects of statin treatment in the setting of heart failure have already been shown. Nevertheless, there is little knowledge about its influence on adrenergic pathways in cardiomyocytes. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of cerivastatin on adrenoceptor-mediated signalling pathways in isolated adult ventricular cardiomyocytes. It focused on two endpoints: hypertrophic growth and TGFbeta expression. Cultured cardiomyocytes were used to study rac activation (analysed by its translocation into the membrane fraction), ROS formation (H2DCF fluorescence) and hypertrophic growth (14C-phenylalanine incorporation). Alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor stimulation showed significant differences regarding rac activation, ROS formation, and p38 MAP kinase activation. Both alpha- and beta-adrenoceptor stimulation induced TGFbeta expression. Upon activation of alpha-adrenergic signalling – although ROS formation was not influenced by cerivastatin – TGFbeta expression decreased. Following beta stimulation, TGFbeta expression as well as rac and p38 MAP kinase activation were reduced after pre-treatment with cerivastatin. Statin treatment did not show any influence on hypertrophic growth. In summary, this study clearly demonstrates the ability of adrenoceptor stimulation to increase TGFbeta expression. One component of the beneficial effects of statin therapy on heart failure might therefore be due to a dominant reduction and inhibition of TGFbeta, which is involved in many pathophysiological processes in cardiomyocytes.