Beneficial direct adipotropic actions of pitavastatin in vitro and their manifestations in obese mice



      Prevention of cardiovascular complications in obese patients frequently includes statin administration for coexisting dyslipidemia. Herein, we investigated the impacts of pitavastatin at clinically relevant doses on adipose dysfunction and insulin resistance.


      We treated 3T3-L1 preadipocytes with 10–100 ng/ml pitavastatin from initiation of differentiation (Day 0) to Day 8 (differentiation/maturation phase) or from Day 8 to Day 16 (post-maturation phase). Subsequently, we administered pitavastatin (6.2 mg/day/kg) to 7-week-old female KKAy mice for 6 weeks; untreated KKAy mice served as obese controls.


      Pitavastatin impaired neither lipogenesis nor adiponectin expression during the differentiation/maturation phase. During the post-maturation phase, pitavastatin prevented excessive triglyceride accumulation, which was associated with attenuated glucose transporter-4 expression, and dose-dependently upregulated hormone-sensitive lipase expression. Decrements in the adiponectin/plasminogen activator-1 ratio were also dose-dependently inhibited. In KKAy mice, Coulter counter analyses revealed that pitavastatin treatment significantly decreased (by 16.8%) the frequency of hypertrophic adipocytes (>150 μm in diameter) in parametrial adipose pads, of which total weight remained unaltered. Correspondingly, plasma adiponectin was significantly higher in pitavastatin-treated KKAy mice than in the untreated KKAy mice (12.5 ± 3.8 μg/ml vs. 8.3 ± 1.5 μg/ml, p < 0.05). Moreover, the area under the time–glucose curve after intraperitoneal insulin was decreased by 16% in pitavastatin-treated KKAy mice (p < 0.05 vs. untreated controls).


      Pitavastatin did not impair differentiation/maturation of preadipocytes and prevented their deterioration with hypertrophy after maturation at clinical concentrations in vitro. These effects likely contributed to improved insulin sensitivity, in an obese model, via prevention of adipocyte hypertrophy and adipocytokine dysregulation.


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