Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)

Mevalonate deprivation mediates the impact of lovastatin on the differentiation of murine 3T3-F442A preadipocytes.

PMID 24477821


The statins competitively inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase activity and consequently the synthesis of mevalonate. The use of statins is associated with insulin resistance, presumably due to the impaired differentiation and diminished glucose utilization of adipocytes. We hypothesize that mevalonate is essential to adipocyte differentiation and adipogenic gene expression. Adipo-Red assay and Oil Red O staining showed that an eight-day incubation with 0-2.5 µmol/L lovastatin dose-dependently reduced the intracellular triglyceride content of murine 3T3-F442A adipocytes. Concomitantly, lovastatin downregulated the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (Pparγ), leptin (Lep), fatty acid binding protein 4 (Fabp4), and adiponectin (AdipoQ) as measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time qPCR). The expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (Srebp-1), a transcriptional regulator of Pparγ and Lep genes, was also suppressed by lovastatin. Western-blot showed that lovastatin reduced the level of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) while inducing a compensatory over-expression of HMG CoA reductase. The impact of lovastatin on intracellular triglyceride content and expression of the adipogenic genes was reversed by supplemental mevalonate. Mevalonate-derived metabolites have essential roles in promoting adipogenic gene expression and adipocyte differentiation.