Effects of statins on matrix metalloproteinases and their endogenous inhibitors in human endothelial cells

  • Tatiane C. Izidoro-Toledo
  • Danielle A. Guimaraes
  • Vanessa A. Belo
  • Raquel F. Gerlach
  • Jose Eduardo Tanus-Santos
Original Article


Statins exert anti-inflammatory effects and downregulate matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression, thus contributing to restore cardiovascular homeostasis in cardiovascular diseases. We aimed at comparing the effects of different statins (simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin) on MMP-2, MMP-9, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1, TIMP-2, and MMP-9/TIMP-1 and MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratios released by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) stimulated by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). HUVECs were incubated with statins (0.1–10 μM) for 12 h before stimulation with PMA 100 nM. Monolayers were used to perform cell viability assays and the supernatants were collected to determine MMPs and TIMPs levels by gelatin zymography and/or enzyme immunoassay. While treatment with PMA increased MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels (by 556% and 159%, respectively; both P < 0.05), it exerted no effects on MMP-2 and TIMP-2 levels. Simvastatin and atorvastatin, but not pravastatin, attenuated PMA-induced increases in MMP-9 levels (P < 0.05). Only atorvastatin decreased baseline MMP-2 levels significantly (P < 0.05). We found no effects on TIMP-2 levels. Simvastatin and atorvastatin, but not pravastatin, decreased MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio significantly (both P < 0.05), whereas atorvastatin and pravastatin, but not simvastatin, decreased MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio significantly (both P < 0.05). Our data support the notion that statins with different physicochemical features exert variable effects on MMP/TIMP ratios (which reflect net MMP activity). Our results suggest that more lipophilic statins (simvastatin and atorvastatin), but not the hydrophilic statin pravastatin, downregulate net MMP-9 activity. However, atorvastatin and pravastatin may downregulate net MMP-2 activity. The clinical implications of the present findings deserve further investigation.


Statins Matrix metalloproteinases Endothelial cell 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatiane C. Izidoro-Toledo
    • 1
  • Danielle A. Guimaraes
    • 1
  • Vanessa A. Belo
    • 2
  • Raquel F. Gerlach
    • 3
  • Jose Eduardo Tanus-Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao PretoUniversity of Sao PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical SciencesState University of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Morphology, Stomatology and Physiology, Dental School of Ribeirao PretoUniversity of Sao PauloRibeirao PretoBrazil

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