Effect of the Combination of Ezetimibe and Simvastatin on Gluconeogenesis and Oxygen Consumption in the Rat Liver

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The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of chronic treatment with the combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin on gluconeogenesis in rat liver. Rats were treated daily for 28 days with the combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin (10/40 mg/kg) by oral gavage. To measure gluconeogenesis and the associated pathways, isolated perfused rat liver was used. In addition, subcellular fractions, such as microsomes and mitochondria, were used for complementary measures of enzymatic activities. Treatment with the combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe resulted in a decrease in gluconeogenesis from pyruvate (−62%). Basal oxygen consumption of the treated animals was higher (+22%) than that of the control rats, but the resulting oxygen consumption that occurred after pyruvate infusion was 43% lower in animals treated with the combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe. Oxygen consumption in the livers from treated animals was completely inhibited by cyanide (electron transport chain inhibitor), but not by proadifen (cytochrome P450 inhibitor). Chronic treatment with ezetimibe/simvastatin decreased the activity of the key enzymes glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase by 59% and 45%, respectively, which is probably the major reason for the decreased gluconeogenesis seen in ezetimibe-/simvastatin-treated rats. It is also possible that part of the effect of this combination on gluconeogenesis and on the oxygen consumption is related to the impairment of mitochondrial energy transduction.

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