Effects of Pravastatin on Serum Osteoprotegerin Levels in Patients With Hypercholesterolemia and Type 2 Diabetes
Osteoprotegerin is a secretory glycoprotein. Recent experimental findings have suggested that osteoprotegerin may protect against vascular calcification and/or atherosclerosis. In humans, osteoprotegerin levels are positively correlated with the presence and severity of coronary artery disease and the progression of atherosclerosis. However, it is unclear how osteoprotegerin levels are regulated. Statins are known to have beneficial pleiotropic effects against atherosclerosis beyond their lipid-lowering effects. In this study, we examined whether treatment with pravastatin can alter osteoprotegerin levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia and type 2 diabetes. Osteoprotegerin levels were significantly increased from 6.64 ± 2.18 pmol/L at baseline to 7.08 ± 2.29 pmol/L (P = .024) after 3-month treatment with pravastatin. These increases in osteoprotegerin levels remained after 6 months of treatment (7.05 ± 2.22 pmol/L, P = .026). These findings suggest that pravastatin may exert its pleiotropic effects in part through alteration of osteoprotegerin levels.