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See detailActivation of sphingosine-1-phosphate signalling as a potential underlying mechanism of the pleiotropic effects of statin therapy.
Egom, Emmanuel E.; Rose, Robert A.; Neyses, Ludwig UL et al

in Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences (2013), 50(3), 79-89

The mechanisms by which statins are beneficial are incompletely understood. While the lowering of low-density lipoprotein concentration is associated with regression of atherosclerosis, the observed ... [more ▼]

The mechanisms by which statins are beneficial are incompletely understood. While the lowering of low-density lipoprotein concentration is associated with regression of atherosclerosis, the observed benefit of statin therapy begins within months after its initiation, making regression an unlikely cause. Although LDL-C lowering is the main mechanism by which statin therapy reduces cardiovascular events, evidence suggests that at least some of the beneficial actions of statins may be mediated by their pleiotropic effects. Thus, statins may modulate the function of cardiovascular cells and key signalling proteins, including small G-proteins, to ultimately exert their pleiotropic effects. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a naturally occurring bioactive lysophospholipid that regulates diverse physiological functions in a variety of different organ systems. Within the cardiovascular system, S1P mediates cardioprotection following ischemia/reperfusion injury, anti-inflammatory response, improvement of endothelial function, increased mobilization and differentiation of endothelial progenitor cells, inhibition of oxidation, and anti-atherogenic and anti-thrombotic actions. Early evidence suggests that the pleiotropic effects of statins may be related to an increase in S1P signalling. This review focuses on S1P signalling as the potential mechanism underlying the pleiotropic effects of statins. An improved understanding of this mechanism may be vital for establishing the clinical relevance of statins and their importance in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease. Key points Several studies have demonstrated a benefit from lowering serum LDL-C with statins in patients with and without clinical evidence of CAD. These may be mediated by the pleiotropic effects of statins-the mechanisms of which are incompletely understood. Early evidence suggests that statins may increase S1P signalling pathways through upregulation of the expression of S1P receptors and an increase in plasma levels of S1P to ultimately exert their pleiotropic effects. Future clinical trials and basic science research aimed at the underlying mechanisms of the pleiotropic effects of statins should enlighten us to their relative clinical relevance and importance. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of the cardiac myosin activator, omecamtiv mecarbil, on cardiac function in systolic heart failure: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, dose-ranging phase 2 trial.
Cleland, John G. F.; Teerlink, John R.; Senior, Roxy et al

in Lancet (2011), 378(9792), 676-83

BACKGROUND: Many patients with heart failure remain symptomatic and have a poor prognosis despite existing treatments. Decreases in myocardial contractility and shortening of ventricular systole are ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Many patients with heart failure remain symptomatic and have a poor prognosis despite existing treatments. Decreases in myocardial contractility and shortening of ventricular systole are characteristic of systolic heart failure and might be improved by a new therapeutic class, cardiac myosin activators. We report the first study of the cardiac myosin activator, omecamtiv mecarbil, in patients with systolic heart failure. METHODS: We undertook a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, dose-ranging, phase 2 trial investigating the effects of omecamtiv mecarbil (formerly CK-1827452), given intravenously for 2, 24, or 72 h to patients with stable heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction receiving guideline-indicated treatment. Clinical assessment (including vital signs, echocardiograms, and electrocardiographs) and testing of plasma drug concentrations took place during and after completion of each infusion. The primary aim was to assess safety and tolerability of omecamtiv mecarbil. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00624442. FINDINGS: 45 patients received 151 infusions of active drug or placebo. Placebo-corrected, concentration-dependent increases in left ventricular ejection time (up to an 80 ms increase from baseline) and stroke volume (up to 9.7 mL) were recorded, associated with a small reduction in heart rate (up to 2.7 beats per min; p<0.0001 for all three measures). Higher plasma concentrations were also associated with reductions in end-systolic (decrease of 15 mL at >500 ng/mL, p=0.0026) and end-diastolic volumes (16 mL, p=0.0096) that might have been more pronounced with increased duration of infusion. Cardiac ischaemia emerged at high plasma concentrations (two patients, plasma concentrations roughly 1750 ng/mL and 1350 ng/mL). For patients tolerant of all study drug infusions, no consistent pattern of adverse events with either dose or duration emerged. INTERPRETATION: Omecamtiv mecarbil improved cardiac function in patients with heart failure caused by left ventricular dysfunction and could be the first in class of a new therapeutic agent. FUNDING: Cytokinetics Inc. [less ▲]

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