Induction of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, SIRT1, and catalase by statins inhibits endothelial senescence through the Akt pathway

Hidetaka Ota, Masato Eto, Mitsunobu R. Kano, Tomoaki Kahyo, Mitsutoshi Setou, Sumito Ogawa, Katsuya Iijima, Masahiro Akishita, Yasuyoshi Ouchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE-: Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors) have pleiotropic vascular protective effects besides cholesterol lowering. Recently, experimental and clinical studies have indicated that senescence of endothelial cells is involved in endothelial dysfunction and atherogenesis. Therefore, the present study was performed to determine whether statins would reduce endothelial senescence and to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the antisenescent property of statins. METHODS AND RESULTS-: Senescent human umbilical vein endothelial cells were induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), as judged by senescence-associated β-galactosidase assay and cell morphological appearance. Atorvastatin, pravastatin, and pitavastatin inhibited the oxidative stress induced-endothelial senescence. These statins phosphorylated Akt at Ser473 and subsequently led to increased expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), SIRT1, and catalase. Treatment with LY294002 or Akt short interfering RNA decreased the eNOS activation, SIRT1 expression, and antisenescent property of atorvastatin. Moreover, in streptozotocin-diabetic mice, administration of pitavastatin increased eNOS, SIRT1, and catalase expression and decreased endothelial senescence, but levels remained unaltered in Sirt1 knockout mice. CONCLUSION-: Our results indicate that treatment with statins inhibits endothelial senescence and that enhancement of SIRT1 plays a critical role in prevention of endothelial senescence through the Akt pathway, a direct target of statins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2211
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • SIRT1
  • endothelium
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • senescence
  • statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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