Although originally designed as inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, or statins, are now known to also have non-lipid lowering benefits [1]. Statins have been reported to modulate gene expression in endothelial cells, however, the effect of statins on adhesion molecule expression is contradictory. Some studies report a decrease in adhesion molecule mRNA and/or protein after statin treatment [2], while others have shown that statins potentiate the effect of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) [3]. To the best of our knowledge, the effects of statins on gene expression in cultured endothelial cells has been done in static conditions only and no study has examined the effect of blood flow. This is particularly important since fluid shear stress is a strong regulator of endothelial cell function and phenotype [4]. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of statins on vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in endothelial cells by evaluating their biological response under fluid flow.

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