We investigated the influence of lovastatin, simvastatin and pravastatin on proliferation and viability of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) in vitro and studied the effects of lovastatin on a mouse SMC line transgenic for a temperature-sensitive mutant of SV40 large T antigen (TAg), known to inhibit the function of p53 and pRb family members. We found that lovastatin and simvastatin inhibited cell proliferation by provoking G0/G1 phase arrest with concomitant depression of the proliferation antigen Ki-67/MIB-1. Lovastatin at high concentrations of 20 μmol/l caused cell death in the presence of serum but not under serum starved conditions, which was verified on the basis of increased DNA strand breaks, decreased DNA content and morphological alterations seen by electron microscopy. Cell death was also found for simvastatin, whereas pravastatin did not exhibit antiproliferative or cytotoxic effects. Mouse SMC transgenic for TAg did not show any impaired sensitivity to the antiproliferative and cell death inducing effect of lovastatin, but both effects could be antagonized by the supplementation of mevalonate. The data indicate that antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of lovastatin are caused by the using up of products of mevalonate metabolism and do not require the presence of p53 or pRb. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Cell death
- Smooth muscle cells
- SV40 large TAg
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine