A. Mondragón-García, M. Luna-Luna, Cristóbal Flores-Castillo
May 5, 2019
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Statins may precipitate the onset of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in high-risk patients. In contrast, only the subset of individuals with insulin resistance and/or diabetes receives cardiovascular benefits with fibrates. In this context, previous observations from our laboratory suggested that atorvastatin induced an increase in visceral adipose tissue (VAT), whereas fenofibrate had the opposite effects in rabbits. Therefore, we determined the mass, morphology, and vascularization of VAT in New Zealand white rabbits (n = 6/group) that received 0.33 or 2.6 mg/kg/d of atorvastatin or fenofibrate, respectively, during 2 months. As expected, the cholesterol from the atorvastatin group was lower after treatment, while triglycerides decreased in the fenofibrate group. The mass of VAT from the fenofibrate group was 46% lower compared to the controls, meanwhile atorvastatin was associated with a larger diameter of adipocytes (+65%) than that of the control and fenofibrate groups. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) gene expression was lower in the fenofibrate group than in the control group (−54%). By contrast, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene expression in fenofibrate-treated rabbits was 110% higher than in the control group. In agreement with the gene expression, the marker of angiogenesis platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 was slightly but significantly higher (+10%) in rabbits treated with fenofibrate than in controls, as determined by immunohistochemistry. These results suggest that fenofibrate is associated with a favorable remodeling of VAT, that is, reduced mass and increased vascularization in normolipemic rabbits; in contrast, atorvastatin induced a nonfavorable remodeling of VAT. These results may be related to the cardiovascular benefits of fenofibrate and the increased risk of T2D in high-risk patients induced by atorvastatin.