BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2016 Oct 2817(1) 449
Cumulative evidence indicates that statins induce myotoxicity. However, the lack of understanding of how statins affect skeletal muscles at the structural, functional, and physiological levels hampers proper healthcare management. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the early after-effects of lovastatin on the slow-twitch soleus (Sol) and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles.
Adult C57BL/6 mice were orally administrated with placebo or lovastatin [50 mg/kg/d] for 28 days. At the end of the treatment, the isometric ex vivo contractile properties of the Sol and EDL muscles were measured. Subtetanic and tetanic contractions were assessed and contraction kinetics were recorded. The muscles were then frozen for immunohistochemical analyses. Data were analyzed by two-way ANOVA followed by an a posteriori Tukey’s test.
The short-term lovastatin treatment did not induce muscle mass loss, muscle fiber atrophy, or creatine kinase (CK) release. It had no functional impact on slow-twitch Sol muscles. However, subtetanic stimulations at 10 Hz provoked greater force production in fast-twitch EDL muscles. The treatment also decreased the maximal rate of force development (dP/dT) of twitch contractions and prolonged the half relaxation time (1/2RT) of tetanic contractions of EDL muscles.
An early short-term statin treatment induced subtle but significant changes in some parameters of the contractile profile of EDL muscles, providing new insights into the selective initiation of statin-induced myopathy in fast-twitch muscles.