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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Stroke protection by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitors mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase.

The treatment of ischemic strokes is limited to prophylactic agents that block the coagulation cascade. Here, we show that cholesterol-lowering agents, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitors, protect against cerebral injury by a previously unidentified mechanism involving the selective up-regulation of endothelial NO synthase ( eNOS). Prophylactic treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors augments cerebral blood flow, reduces cerebral infarct size, and improves neurological function in normocholesterolemic mice. The up-regulation of eNOS by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors is not associated with changes in serum cholesterol levels, but is reversed by cotreatment with L-mevalonate and by the downstream isoprenoid, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate and not by farnesyl pyrophosphate. The blood flow and neuroprotective effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are completely absent in eNOS-deficient mice, indicating that enhanced eNOS activity by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors is the predominant if not the only mechanism by which these agents protect against cerebral injury. Our results suggest that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors provide a prophylactic treatment strategy for increasing blood flow and reducing brain injury during cerebral ischemia.[1]


  1. Stroke protection by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitors mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Endres, M., Laufs, U., Huang, Z., Nakamura, T., Huang, P., Moskowitz, M.A., Liao, J.K. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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