Idebenone ameliorates statin-induced myotoxicity in atherosclerotic ApoE-/- mice by reducing oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2024 Apr 4:167157. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2024.167157. Online ahead of print.


Statins are the first line of choice for the treatment for atherosclerosis, but their use can cause myotoxicity, a common side effect that may require dosage reduction or discontinuation. The exact mechanism of statin-induced myotoxicity is unknown. Previous research has demonstrated that the combination of idebenone and statin yielded superior anti-atherosclerotic outcomes. Here, we investigated the mechanism of statin-induced myotoxicity in atherosclerotic ApoE-/- mice and whether idebenone could counteract it. After administering simvastatin to ApoE-/- mice, we observed a reduction in plaque formation as well as a decrease in their exercise capacity. We observed elevated levels of lactic acid and creatine kinase, along with a reduction in the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers, an increased presence of ragged red fibers, heightened mitochondrial crista lysis, impaired mitochondrial complex activity, and decreased levels of CoQ9 and CoQ10. Two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed elevated H2O2 levels in the quadriceps, indicating increased oxidative stress. Proteomic analysis indicated that simvastatin inhibited the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Idebenone treatment not only further reduced plaque formation but also ameliorated the impaired exercise capacity caused by simvastatin. Our study represents the inaugural comprehensive investigation into the mechanisms underlying statin-induced myotoxicity. We have demonstrated that statins inhibit CoQ synthesis, impair mitochondrial complex functionality, and elevate oxidative stress, ultimately resulting in myotoxic effects. Furthermore, our research marks the pioneering identification of idebenone’s capability to mitigate statin-induced myotoxicity by attenuating oxidative stress, thereby safeguarding mitochondrial complex functionality. The synergistic use of idebenone and statin not only enhances the effectiveness against atherosclerosis but also mitigates statin-induced myotoxicity.

PMID:38582266 | DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2024.167157