Abstract 304: Varicose Vein Development in Mice Is Blocked by Ator- and Rosuvastatin
Venous diseases such as varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency constitute a substantial source of morbidity. Despite their high prevalence, neither molecular mechanisms initiating these diseases nor pharmaceutic therapies have been explored so far. We recently reported that chronically increased filling pressure or biomechanical venous wall stress is sufficient to cause development of varicose-like veins in mice through a mechanism preceded by activation of the transcription factor activator protein 1 (AP-1). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that pharmacologic inhibition of AP-1 activity may attenuate venous remodeling. To prove this therapeutic concept, human venous smooth muscle cells (SMCs) were subjected to biomechanical stretch (13%, 0.5Hz) and treated with statins - HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors that are supposed to interfere with the activity of AP-1. EMSA and immunofluorescence studies revealed that ator- and rosu- but not simvastatin blocked stretch-induced AP-1 activity. Furthermore, ator- and rosuvastatin inhibited expression of the AP-1 target monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and proliferation of these cells. In mouse veins exposed to an increased level of intraluminal pressure, atorvastatin diminished the abundance of MCP-1 and MMP-2 by ~90 % and inhibited proliferation of endothelial cells and SMCs (n=5, p<0.05). In line with this observation, growth of varicose-like veins in mice was suppressed by almost ~80 % upon treatment with rosu- and atorvastatin but not simvastatin (n=5, p<0.05) which was accompanied by a decrease in cellular proliferation as well as MMP-2 abundance in remodeling blood vessels. Consequent analyses of human varicose vein samples from patients chronically treated with statins indicated a decrease in SMC proliferation, MCP-1 and MMP-2 abundance (50-60 %, n=10, p<0.05).
Collectively, our current findings imply that both ator- and rosuvastatin effectively inhibit the development of varicose veins presumably by interfering with the wall stress-mediated activity of AP-1 in VSMCs. For the first time, this study revealed a possible pharmaceutic treatment that may be suitable to prevent growth of varicose veins and to limit formation of recurrences after varicose vein surgery.
Author Disclosures: J. Eschrich: None. R. Meyer: None. L. Pfisterer: None. M. Hecker: None. T. Korff: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.