Aims/hypothesis: We evaluated the anti-atherosclerotic effect of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase inhibitor, rosuvastatin, and the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), candesartan, alone and in combination, in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe -/-) mouse. Methods: Control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic Apoe -/- mice received rosuvastatin (5 mg kg-1 day -1), candesartan (2.5 mg kg-1 day-1), dual therapy or no treatment for 20 weeks. Aortic plaque deposition was assessed by Sudan IV staining and subsequent visual quantification. The abundance of proteins was measured using immunohistochemistry. Results: Diabetes was associated with a fourfold increase in total plaque area. Rosuvastatin attenuated plaque area in diabetic mice in the absence of lipid-lowering effects. The anti-atherosclerotic effect of rosuvastatin was comparable to that observed with candesartan. A similar beneficial effect was seen with dual therapy, although it was not superior to monotherapy. Rosuvastatin treatment was associated with attenuated accumulation of AGE and AGE receptor (RAGE) in plaques. Similar beneficial effects on markers of oxidative stress were seen with the ARB and statin. Candesartan was more effective at reducing macrophage accumulation and collagen I abundance in plaques compared with rosuvastatin. The combined effect of candesartan and rosuvastatin was superior in reducing macrophage infiltration, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 level, vascular AGE accumulation and RAGE abundance in the vascular wall. Furthermore, the combination tended to be more effective in reducing smooth muscle cell infiltration and connective tissue growth factor abundance in plaques. Conclusions/interpretation: Rosuvastatin has direct anti-atherosclerotic effects in diabetic macrovascular disease. These effects are independent of effects on lipids and comparable to the effects observed with candesartan.
- Angiotensin II
- Diabetic-hypercholesterolaemic mouse