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Open Access Research

Synergistic effects of colchicine combined with atorvastatin in rats with hyperlipidemia

Congwu Huang1*, Chuan Cen2, ChengXu Wang3*, Haiyong Zhan1 and Xin Ding2

Author Affiliations

1 The Department of Internal Medicine, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University, Shantou, China

2 The Department of Internal Medicine, Zhongshan People’s Hospital, Zhongshan, China

3 The Emergency Department, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:67  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-67

Published: 17 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Inflammation and endothelial dysfunction is implicated in the atherosclerosis initiation and progression in the setting of hyperlipidemia. Colchicine is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and whether colchicine combined with atorvastatin has synergistic effects on inflammation amelioration and endothelial function improvement is unknown.

Methods

Hyperlipidemic rat model was produced by high-fat and high-cholesterol diet for 6 weeks. Rats with normal diet were served as shame group. In hyperlipidemic group, normal saline, atorvastatin (10 mg/kg body weight/day), colchicines (0.5 mg/kg body weight/day), or atorvastatin combined with colchicines (same dosages) were prescribed for 2 weeks. Serum levels of lipid profile, C-reactive protein (CRP), liver enzyme, lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and nitric oxide (NO) production were serially assessed.

Results

Before the beginning of the study, all laboratory variables were comparable among each group. After 6 weeks of hyperlipidemic model production, serum levels of cholesterols, CRP and Lp-PLA2 were significantly increased when compared to sham group, whereas NO production was reduced. With 2 weeks of colchicine therapy, serum levels of CRP and Lp-PLA2 were decreased and NO production was enhanced in the colchicine group in a lipid-lowering independent manner. Added colchicine into atorvastatin therapy further improved NO production and decreased CRP and Lp-PLA2 levels, indicating a potential synergism of colchicine and atorvastatin.

Conclusion

Colchicine combined with atorvastatin may have stronger protective effects on improving endothelial function and ameliorating inflammation in rats with hyperlipidemia.

Keywords:
Hyperlipidemia; Inflammation; Endothelial dysfunction