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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: patho-physiology, current methods of treatment and the potential for simvastatin in disease management.

Expert opinion on drug delivery (2011-05-28)
Laura Marin, Paolo Colombo, Mary Bebawy, Paul M Young, Daniela Traini
ABSTRACT

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a severe disease that leads to a non-reversible obstruction of the small airways. The prevalence of this disease is rapidly increasing in developed countries, and in 2020 it has been predicted that this disease will reach the third cause of mortality worldwide. COPD patients do not respond well to current treatment modalities, such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids. This review article focuses on the patho-physiology of COPD, explores current approaches to alleviate and treat the disease, and discusses the potential use of statins for treatment. Specifically, the mechanism of action and metabolism of simvastatin, the most known and studied molecule among the statin family, are critically reviewed. Various cellular pathways have been implicated in COPD, with alveolar macrophages emerging as pivotal inflammatory mediators in the COPD patho-physiology. Recently, emerging anti-cytokine therapies, such as PDE4 inhibitors and ACE inhibitors, have shown good anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in COPD treatment. Recently, statins as a drug class have gained much interest with respect to COPD management, following studies which show simvastatin to exert effective anti-inflammatory effects, via inhibition of the mevalonic acid cascade in alveolar macrophages.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Simvastatin, ≥97% (HPLC), solid
Supelco
Simvastatin, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Supelco
Simvastatin, analytical standard
USP
Simvastatin, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard
Simvastatin, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard