AIM: To examine whether the administration of atorvastatin and rosuvastatin would prevent experimentallyinduced hepatic cirrhosis in rats. METHODS: Liver cirrhosis was induced by injections of thioacetamide (TAA). Rats were treated concurrently with TAA alone or TAA and either atorvastatin (1,10 and 20 mg/kg) or rosuvastatin (1, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) given daily by nasogastric gavage. RESULTS: Liver fibrosis and hepatic hydroxyproline content, in the TAA-treated group was significantly higher than those of the controls [11.5 ± 3.2 vs 2.6 ± 0.6 mg/g protein (P = 0.02)]. There were no differences in serum aminotransferase levels in the TAA controls compared to all the groups treated concomitantly by statins. Both statins used in our study did not prevent liver fibrosis or reduce portal hypertension, and had no effect on hepatic oxidative stress. Accordingly, the hepatic level of malondialdehyde was not lower in those groups treated by TAA + statins compared to TAA only. In vitro studies, using the BrdU method have shown that atorvastatin had no effect of hepatic stellate cells proliferation. Nevertheless, statin treatment was not associated with worsening of liver damage, portal hypertension or survival rate. CONCLUSION: Atorvastatin or rosuvastatin did not inhibit TAA-induced liver cirrhosis or oxidative stress in rats. Whether statins may have therapeutic applications in hepatic fibrosis due to other etiologies deserve further investigation.
- Liver cirrhosis