Temporal gene expression analysis of human coronary artery endothelial cells treated with simvastatin

Li Qin Zhang, Shwu Fan Ma, Dmitry Grigoryev, Tera L. Lavoie, Hui Qing Xiao, Robert Setterquist, Hailong Li, Jeffrey Jacobson, Joe G.N. Garcia, Shui Qing Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Increasing evidence indicates that the beneficial "pleiotropic" effects of statins on clinical events involve nonlipid mechanisms including the modification of blood vessel endothelial cell function. However, the involved molecular events and pathways are not completely understood. In the present study, Affymetrix microarrays were used to monitor the temporal gene expression of human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) treated with simvastatin (Sim) to gain insight into statins' direct effects on the endothelial function. We isolated and labeled mRNA from HCAEC treated with Sim for 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h and hybridized these samples to Affymetrix GeneChip HG-U95Av2 to analyze the temporal gene expression profile. Out of 12,625 genes present on the HG-U95Av2 GeneChip, expression of 5,432 genes was detected. There were 1,475 of 5,432 genes that displayed the differential expression compared to baseline (0 h). Fifty-four genes were upregulated (≤twofold) while 61 genes were downregulated (≥ twofold) at 24-48 h after the Sim treatment. Many new target genes and pathways modulated by Sim were uncovered. This study indicates that many aspects of the pleiotropic effect of Sim on the endothelial cell function can be mediated by transcriptional control. Physiological function of 22% of 115 differentially expressed genes in Sim-treated HCAEC are currently unknown. These newly identified genes could be useful for new mechanistic study and new therapeutic modalities. Expressions of 13 out of 18 genes (>70%) in the cell cycle/ proliferation control process were significantly inhibited by the Sim treatment. CDC25B and ITGB4 gene expressions were validated by RT-PCR and Western blotting. Sim's inhibitory effect of on HCAEC growth was confirmed by the measurement of [3H]thymidine incorporation into the DNA synthesis. Further in-depth analysis of this effect may shed light on molecular mechanisms of Sim's beneficial inhibition of neointima formation in the atherosclerotic artery stenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalGene Expression
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Coronary artery endothelial cells
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray
  • Simvastatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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