Cell Physiol Biochem . 2016;38(1):207-19. doi: 10.1159/000438622. Epub 2016 Jan 20.

Atorvastatin Inhibits Myocardial Apoptosis in a Swine Model of Coronary Microembolization by Regulating PTEN/PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway

Jiangyou Wang  1 Han ChenYou ZhouQiang SuTao LiuXian-tao WangLang Li


  • 1 Department of Cardiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi Cardiovascular Institute, Nanning, China.


Background/aims: Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) has been recognized as a promoter of apoptosis in various tissues, and revealed to be up-regulated in circumstances of coronary microembolization (CME). However, whether this functional protein could be modified by pretreatment of atorvastatin in models of CME has not been disclosed yet.

Methods: Swine CME was induced by intra-coronary injection of inertia plastic microspheres (diameter 42 μm) into left anterior descending coronary, with or without pretreatment of atorvastatin or PTEN siRNA. Echocardiologic measurements, pathologic examination, TUNEL staining and western blotting were applied to assess their functional, morphological and molecular effects in CME.

Results: PTEN were aberrantly up-regulated in cardiomyocytes following CME, with both the mRNA and protein levels increased after CME modeling. Pretreatment with atorvastatin could attenuate the induction of PTEN. Furthermore, down-regulation of PTEN in vivo via siRNA was associated with an improved cardiac function, attenuated myocardial apoptosis, and concomitantly inhibited expressions of key proapoptotic proteins such as Bax, cleaved-caspase-3. Interestingly, atorvastatin could markedly attenuate PTEN expression and therefore partially reverse cardiac dysfunction and attenuate the apoptosis of the myocardium following CME.

Conclusion: Modulation of PTEN was probably as a potential mechanism involved in the beneficial effects of pretreatment of atorvastatin to cardiac function and apoptosis in large animal models of CME.