Atorvastatin inhibits pro-inflammatory actions of aldosterone in vascular smooth muscle cells by reducing oxidative stress

Thiago Bruder-Nascimento, Glaucia E. Callera, Augusto C. Montezano, Eric Jacques Belin de Chantemele, Rita C. Tostes, Rhian M. Touyz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Vascular inflammatory responses play an important role in several cardiovascular diseases. Of the many pro-inflammatory vasoactive factors implicated in this process, is aldosterone, an important mediator of vascular oxidative stress. Statins, such as atorvastatin, are cholesterol-lowering drugs that have pleiotropic actions, including anti-oxidant properties independently of their cholesterol-lowering effect. This study investigated whether atorvastatin prevents aldosterone-induced VSMC inflammation by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) from WKY rats were treated with 1 μM atorvastatin for 60 min or for 72 h prior to aldosterone (10 -7 mol/L) stimulation. Atorvastatin inhibited Rac1/2 and p47phox translocation from the cytosol to the membrane, as well as reduced aldosterone-induced ROS production. Atorvastatin also attenuated aldosterone-induced vascular inflammation and macrophage adhesion to VSMC. Similarly EHT1864, a Rac1/2 inhibitor, and tiron, ROS scavenger, reduced macrophage adhesion. Through its inhibitory effects on Rac1/2 activation and ROS production, atorvastatin reduces vascular ROS generation and inhibits VSMC inflammation. Our data suggest that in conditions associated with aldosterone-induced vascular damage, statins may have vasoprotective effects by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalLife sciences
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Inflammation
  • Mineralocorticoids
  • Redox signaling
  • Statins
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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