Abstract 5517: A Novel Tissue Engineered Skeletal Muscle Screening Platform to Assess the Myotoxic Potential of Statins
Our study had two objectives:
to develop a novel tissue engineered skeletal muscle drug screening platform and
to assess myotoxicity of various statins and identify underlying mechanisms.
Methods: Engineered skeletal muscle tissue (SMT) was generated from adult rat skeletal myoblasts, rat fibroblasts (1.25x106 cells/SMT), matrigel, and collagen. Reconstitution-mixtures (450 μl) were poured into circular moulds yielding ring-shaped constructs after 5 days. SMTs were cultured for additional 10 days on stretch devices and treated with increasing concentrations of statins or vehicle for the last 5 culture days. Force of contraction (FOC) was measured and SMTs subjected to either immune fluorescence (IF), HE-staining or Western blotting (WB).
Results: SMTs displayed differentiated muscle bundles (actin-IF and HE) and elicited tetanic contractions with maximal force at 60 Hz (1.3±0.2 mN; n=5). Carbachol (1 μM) induced a reversible block of muscle contraction which was antagonized by pancuronium (10 μM) indicating the presence and functionality of nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors. Statin treatment caused a concentration-dependent decrease in FOC in the following order of potency (EC50): cerivastatin (10 nM), simvastatin (100 nM), atorvastatin (350 nM), pravastatin (1860 nM; n=6–8/group and concentration). Contractile failure was paralleled by sarcomere breakdown and apoptosis (IF and WB: reduced actin, increased caspase 3). To assess the mechanism of statin myotoxicity, we investigated the protective effects of mevalonic acid (MEV, 100 μM), farnesyl-pyrophosphate (F-PP, 10 μM), squalene (S, 10 μM), and geranyl-geranyl-pyrophophate (G-PP, 10 μM) in the presence of maximally toxic cerivastatin concentrations (1 μM; complete contractile failure). MEV prevented cerivastatin toxicity completely (FOC: 102.3±16% of vehicle; n=7). GG-PP partially prevented cerivastatin-induced contractile failure (FOC: 53.3±14% of vehicle; n=4). S and F-PP had no protective effect (n=4/group).
Conclusion: SMT can be used to identify and compare statin myotoxicity in vitro and may be useful to dissect its underlying mechanisms. In addition, our data suggests that statin myotoxicity is at least in part independent of cholesterol depletion.