CONTEXT - Growth of endometriotic lesions in rodent model of endometriosis is inhibited by resveratrol, a natural polyphenol with antiproliferative and antiinflammatory properties, and simvastatin, an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) activity.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of the investigation was to study the mechanism of action of resveratrol and its interactions with simvastatin, focusing on cholesterol biosynthesis and HMGCR gene expression and protein activity in primary cultures of human endometrial stromal (HES) cells.
METHODS - HES cells were obtained from healthy volunteers. Biosynthesis of cholesterol was assessed by measuring the conversion of [(14)C]acetate to [(14)C]cholesterol. HMGCR mRNA transcripts were quantified by real-time PCR, protein expression by Western blot analysis, and enzyme activity by measuring the conversion of [3-(14)C]3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A to [(14)C]mevalonic acid lactone in HES cell microsomes.
RESULTS - Resveratrol inhibited cholesterol biosynthesis, HMGCR mRNA, and enzyme activity. Simvastatin inhibited cholesterol biosynthesis and enzyme activity but increased HMGCR mRNA and protein expression. Resveratrol potentiated the inhibitory effects of simvastatin on cholesterol biosynthesis and HMGCR enzyme activity and abrogated the stimulatory effects of simvastatin on HMGCR mRNA transcripts and protein expression.
CONCLUSIONS - Resveratrol inhibits key steps of the mevalonate pathway by mechanisms that are partly complementary to and partly comparable with simvastatin via reducing both expression and activity of HMGCR. A combination of resveratrol and simvastatin may be of potential clinical relevance to development new treatments of human endometriosis.