Combined use of probucol and cilostazol with atorvastatin attenuates atherosclerosis in moderately hypercholesterolemic rabbits
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Abstract Background Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is one of the major diseases that seriously impacts human health. Combined drug therapy may be efficacious in delaying the occurrence of cardiovascular events. Aim The current study was designed to investigate whether combined use of probucol (an anti-oxidant agent) with cilostazol (a platelet aggregation inhibitor) would increase the inhibitory effect of statins (a lipid-lowering agent) on atherosclerosis in moderately hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Methods and Results Thirty Japanese white rabbits were fed with a high cholesterol diet for 12 weeks, which was supplemented with either 0.005 % atorvastatin alone or 0.005 % atorvastatin plus 0.3 % probucol and 0.3 % cilostazol. Except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, no difference was found in plasma lipids among vehicle, statin, and the combined treatment group. However, atherosclerotic lesions were significantly reduced by statin treatment compared with vehicle. Moreover, we found that the anti-atherogenic effect of statin was further enhanced by the combined treatment, which was due to increased anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Conclusions These data demonstrated that combined drug treatment exhibits potent athero-protective effects via pleiotropic functions, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress, which is independent of the lipid-lowering effect.