Highlight article: Therapeutic effects of statins on chromosomal DNA damage of dyslipidemic patients
Coskun-Demirkalp, Ayse N.
Toth, Peter P.
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Statins are a group of cholesterol lowering drugs and frequently used in the therapy of dyslipidemia. Our knowledge of the impact of statin therapy on DNA damage is as yet rudimentary. In this study, we aimed to assess the possible (1) genotoxic, cytostatic, and cytotoxic effects of statins in peripheral blood lymphocytes by using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay, and (2) oxidative DNA damage by measuring plasma 8-hydroxy-2 '-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels in response to statin therapy. Thirty patients with dyslipidemia who had no chronic diseases and did not use any medicines that interfere lipid values and twenty control subjects were included in the study. Statin therapy was initiated at risk-stratified doses. Blood samples were taken before and after treatment with statins and from control subjects, and CBMN-cyt assay parameters and 8-OHdG levels were evaluated. The chromosomal DNA damage (micronuclei and nucleoplasmic bridges [NPBs]), cytostasis (nuclear division index [NDI]), and cytotoxicity (apoptotic and necrotic cell frequencies) were decreased in patients with dyslipidemia after statin treatment. No significant differences were found for 8-OHdG levels between patients with dyslipidemia before or after statin therapy. The total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels showed positive correlations with NPB frequency in patients with dyslipidemia prior to statin treatment. The present study is the first to evaluate CBMN-cyt assay biomarkers and 8-OHdG levels in patients with dyslipidemia before and after treatment with statins. The observed reductions of chromosomal DNA damage and NDI values with statin treatment could represent an important and under-appreciated pleiotropic effect of these agents. Impact statement In literature, it is possible to find some in vitro cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay studies about human lymphocytes and statins. But, there are no data on CBMN-cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay parameters related to statin therapy in patients with dyslipidemia. The present study is the first to evaluate CBMN-cyt assay biomarkers and 8-OHdG levels in patients with dyslipidemia before treatment and after treatment with statins (5-10 mg/day rosuvastatin or 10-20 mg/day atorvastatin). In this study we show that statin therapy decreased chromosomal DNA damage (micronuclei and nucleoplasmic bridges) and nuclear division index (NDI) values in patients with dyslipidemia by possible molecular reasons independent of oxidative DNA damage. In addition, the decrease of chromosomal DNA damage and NDI values with statin treatment could be indicated by the association between statin use and reduced risk of cancer.