Frontiers in Physiology (Dec 2017)

Statin Therapy Negatively Impacts Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Cutaneous Wound Repair in Type 1 Diabetic Mice

  • Irena A. Rebalka,
  • Andrew W. Cao,
  • Matthew J. Raleigh,
  • Brandyn D. Henriksbo,
  • Samantha K. Coleman,
  • Jonathan D. Schertzer,
  • Thomas J. Hawke

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8


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Those with diabetes invariably develop complications including cardiovascular disease (CVD). To reduce their CVD risk, diabetics are generally prescribed cholesterol-lowering 3-hydroxy-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (i.e., statins). Statins inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis, but also reduce the synthesis of a number of mevalonate pathway intermediates, leading to several cholesterol-independent effects. One of the pleiotropic effects of statins is the reduction of the anti-fibrinolytic hormone plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). We have previously demonstrated that a PAI-1 specific inhibitor alleviated diabetes-induced delays in skin and muscle repair. Here we tested if statin administration, through its pleiotropic effects on PAI-1, could improve skin and muscle repair in a diabetic rodent model. Six weeks after diabetes onset, adult male streptozotocin-induced diabetic (STZ), and WT mice were assigned to receive control chow or a diet enriched with 600 mg/kg Fluvastatin. Tibialis anterior muscles were injured via Cardiotoxin injection to induce skeletal muscle injury. Punch biopsies were administered on the dorsal scapular region to induce injury of skin. Twenty-four days after the onset of statin therapy (10 days post-injury), tissues were harvested and analyzed. PAI-1 levels were attenuated in statin-treated diabetic tissue when compared to control-treated tissue, however no differences were observed in non-diabetic tissue as a result of treatment. Muscle and skin repair were significantly attenuated in Fluvastatin-treated STZ-diabetic mice as demonstrated by larger wound areas, less mature granulation tissue, and an increased presence of smaller regenerating muscle fibers. Despite attenuating PAI-1 levels in diabetic tissue, Fluvastatin treatment impaired cutaneous healing and skeletal muscle repair in STZ-diabetic mice.