▸ The anti-atherosclerotic effect of statins is consequence of not only cholesterol lowering but also of pleiotropic effects. ▸ Pleiotropic effects result from the inhibition of small GTPases which mediate cell proliferation and vascular inflammation. ▸ GTPase inhibition also reduces oxidative stress and increases vascular NO formation. ▸ Statins also induce the transcription factor KLF-2, which mediates vascular quiescence.
HMG-CoA-Reductase inhibitors, also known as statins, are currently the most powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs available on the market. Clinical trials and experimental evidence suggest that statins have anti-atherosclerotic effects. These are in part consequence of lipid lowering but also result from pleiotropic actions of the drugs. In this article, the anti-atherosclerotic actions of statins will be reviewed.