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1 July 2009 Role of Isoprenylation in Simvastatin-Induced Inhibition of Ovarian Theca-Interstitial Growth in the Rat
Izabela J. Rzepczynska, Piotr C. Piotrowski, Donna H. Wong, Amanda B. Cress, Jesus Villanueva, Antoni J. Duleba
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Abstract

Statins are competitive inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, a rate-limiting step of the mevalonate pathway. The pleiotropic effects of statins may be due to inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, as well as decreased availability of several biologically important intermediate components of the mevalonate pathway, including two substrates for isoprenylation (farnesyl pyrophosphate [FPP] and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate [GGPP]). Recently, we demonstrated statin-induced inhibition of ovarian theca-interstitial cell proliferation in vitro, as well as reduction of testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study evaluates the relative contribution of inhibition of isoprenylation and/or cholesterol availability to the modulation of theca-interstitial proliferation. Rat theca-interstitial cells were cultured in chemically defined media with or without simvastatin, FPP, GGPP, squalene, and/or two membrane-permeable forms of cholesterol (25-hydroxycholesterol and 22-hydroxycholesterol). Simvastatin inhibited DNA synthesis and the count of viable cells. The effects of simvastatin were partly abrogated by FPP and GGPP but not by squalene or cholesterol. Inhibition of farnesyl transferase and geranylgeranyl transferase reduced cell proliferation. The present findings indicate that simvastatin inhibits proliferation of theca-interstitial cells, at least in part, by reduction of isoprenylation. These observations provide likely mechanisms explaining clinically observed improvement of ovarian hyperandrogenism in women with PCOS.

Izabela J. Rzepczynska, Piotr C. Piotrowski, Donna H. Wong, Amanda B. Cress, Jesus Villanueva, and Antoni J. Duleba "Role of Isoprenylation in Simvastatin-Induced Inhibition of Ovarian Theca-Interstitial Growth in the Rat," Biology of Reproduction 81(5), 850-855, (1 July 2009). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.109.078667
Received: 1 May 2009; Accepted: 1 June 2009; Published: 1 July 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
interstitial cells
isoprenylation
ovary
proliferation
statin
theca cells
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