Scientific reports

Simvastatin may induce insulin resistance through a novel fatty acid mediated cholesterol independent mechanism.

PMID 26345110


Statins are a class of oral drugs that are widely used for treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Recent clinical data suggest that chronic use of these drugs increases the frequency of new onset diabetes. Studies to define the risks of statin-induced diabetes and its underlying mechanisms are clearly necessary. We explored the possible mechanism of statin induced insulin resistance using a well-established cell based model and simvastatin as a prototype statin. Our data show that simvastatin induces insulin resistance in a cholesterol biosynthesis inhibition independent fashion but does so by a fatty acid mediated effect on insulin signaling pathway. These data may help design strategies for prevention of statin induced insulin resistance and diabetes in patients with hypercholesterolemia.