Statins are commonly used antihyperlipidemic agents, with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that are thought to account for a significant portion of their ability to protect against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Vaspin, a visceral adipose tissue-derived serine protease inhibitor, is an emerging adipokine with important insulin-sensitizing, cardioprotective, and antiatherosclerotic properties in patients with diabetes. In this randomized controlled clinical trial, we evaluated the effect of statin therapy on vaspin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Patients were divided into two groups, ie, those receiving simvastatin (study group, n = 33), and those who did not (control group, n = 29). Patient data, blood biochemistry, and vaspin levels were recorded at the beginning of the study (baseline) and after 8 weeks (end of the study).
After 8 weeks of treatment, vaspin levels were increased in patients treated with simvastatin (504.58 ± 203.07 pg/mL at baseline versus 629.15 ± 68.39 pg/mL after 8 weeks, P < 0.01), but not in patients who were not treated with simvastatin (613.33 ± 357.53 pg/mL at baseline versus 582.37 ± 84.63 pg/mL after 8 weeks, P > 0.05). In addition, the lipid-lowering effect of simvastatin was reflected in a statistically significant reduction in total cholesterol in the study group (220.75 ± 55.66 mg/dL at baseline versus 201.90 ± 53.65 mg/dL after 8 weeks P < 0.01) but not in the control group (214.24 ± 47.2 mg/dL at baseline versus 215.72 ± 43.65 mg/dL after 8 weeks, P > 0.05) and in a statistically significant reduction in triglyceride levels in the study group (265.8 ± 210.41 mg/dL at baseline versus 223.03 ± 178.67 mg/dL after 8 weeks, P < 0.05) but not in the control group (225.44 ± 115.13 mg/dL at baseline versus 215.58 ± 110.2 mg/dL after 8 weeks, P > 0.05). Mean vaspin levels were significantly higher in the study group than in the control group.
These results indicate that statin therapy increases plasma vaspin levels in addition to having a lipid-lowering effect. This could be a mechanism underlying the pleiotropic effects seen with statins, including their cardioprotective and antiatherosclerotic effects.