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APS: High-Dose Statins Impair Muscle Regeneration

Laboratory study shows that simvastatin reduces satellite cell viability by up to 60 percent

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of statins may have anti-proliferative effects that adversely affect the ability of skeletal muscle to repair and regenerate itself, according to preliminary research presented at the American Physiological Society Intersociety Meeting: The Integrative Biology of Exercise V held Sept. 24 to 27 in Hilton Head, S.C.

Anna Thalacker-Mercer, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues isolated human primary satellite cells from quadriceps muscle biopsies and grew them for 48 hours in several different concentrations of simvastatin.

The researchers found that the highest concentrations of simvastatin (1.0, 10, and 100 μM) were associated with satellite cell viability decreases of about 20 to 60 percent. They noted that the concentrations associated with decreased satellite cell viability were similar to what is physiologically available in patients who are prescribed higher daily doses of simvastatin (40 and 80 mg/d).

"We are very interested in these effects in the older population," Thalacker-Mercer said in a statement. "It is possible that older adults may not be able to distinguish between muscle pain related to a statin effect or an effect of aging and therefore adverse effects of statins in older adults may be under-reported. Therefore, our next step is to examine statins among older adults."

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