Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Subchronic toxicity of atorvastatin, a hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, in beagle dogs.

Abstract Source:

Toxicol Pathol. 1996 Jul-Aug;24(4):468-76. PMID: 8864188

Abstract Author(s):

K M Walsh, M A Albassam, D E Clarke

Article Affiliation:

Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, Division of Warner-Lambert Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


The toxicity of atorvastatin (AT), an inhibitor of hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG), was evaluated in beagle dogs. In 4 studies [2-wk rising dose (daily increasing doses for 1 wk; maintenance for 1 wk), 12-wk rising dose (daily dosing with weekly increases in dose), 2-wk toxicity (daily dosing for 2 wk; 3 dose levels), 13-wk toxicity (daily dosing for 13 wk; 3 dose levels)], dogs received up to 400 mg/kg orally. Doses of 180 mg/kg induced moribundity, necessitating euthanasia. Weight losses up to 26% were seen at doses>or = 150 mg/kg. Decreases in cholesterol levels were dose-related. Alanine and/or aspartate aminotransferase were increased at doses>or = 80 mg/kg; alkaline phosphatase was increased at doses>or = 150 mg/kg. Histopathologic findings were seen at>or = 150 mg/kg and included hepatocellular eosinophilia related to increased smooth endoplasmic reticulum and cholangiohepatitis and cholecystitis at 150 mg/kg in the 2-wk toxicity study; hepatocellular degeneration, centrilobular bridging, cholecystitis, hemorrhage in gallbladder and brain, demyelination of optic nerve, and skeletal muscle necrosis at>or = 280 mg/kg in the 12-wk rising dose study; and erosion and hemorrhage in large intestine, hepatocellular degeneration and necrosis, and inflammation and necrosis of gallbladder epithelium at 320 mg/kg in the 2-wk rising dose study. Doses up to 80 mg/kg for 13 wk did not induce histopathologic lesions in examined organs. AT effectively lowered serum cholesterol in normal lipidemic dogs. Toxicity at AT in dogs was similar to that with other inhibitors of HMG except that lenticular changes were not seen, significant hepatic, testicular, or neurological toxicity was associated only with high doses at AT, and skeletal muscle changes similar to those described in rats and rabbits were identified.

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