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The Effect of Atorvastatin (and Subsequent Metformin) on Adipose Tissue Acylation-Stimulatory-Protein Concentration and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Overweight/Obese Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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submitted on 2024-03-12, 07:02 and posted on 2024-03-12, 07:03 authored by Thozhukat Sathyapalan, James P. Hobkirk, Zeeshan Javed, Sean Carroll, Anne-Marie Coady, Philip Pemberton, Alexander Smith, Katherine Cianflone, Stephen L. Atkin


Atorvastatin has been shown to improve cardiovascular risk (CVR) indices in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Low-grade chronic inflammation of adipose tissue may link PCOS and adverse CVR. In pro-inflammatory states such as PCOS, spontaneous activation of the alternative pathway of complement results in increased generation of acylation stimulating protein (ASP) from adipocytes irrespective of body mass index.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of atorvastatin on markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and inflammation; acylation-stimulating-protein (ASP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and monocyte-chemoattractant-protein-1 (MCP-1) in PCOS. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study where 40 medication-naive women with PCOS and biochemical hyperandrogenaemia were randomized to either atorvastatin 20 mg daily or placebo for 12 weeks. Following the 12 week randomization; both group of women with PCOS were subsequently started on metformin 1,500 mg daily for further 12 weeks to assess whether pre-treatment with atorvastatin potentiates the effects of metformin on markers of adipose tissue function We conducted a post-hoc review to detect plasma ASP and the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL6 and MCP-1 before and after 12 and 24 weeks of treatment.


There was significant reduction in ASP (156.7 ± 16.2 vs. 124.4 ± 14.8 ng/ml p <0.01), IL-6 (1.48 ± 0.29 vs.0.73 ± 0.34 pg/ml p = 0.01) and MCP-1 (30.4 ± 4.2 vs. 23.0 ± 4.5 pg/ml p = 0.02) after 12 weeks of atorvastatin that was maintained subsequently with 12 weeks treatment with metformin. There was a significant positive correlation between ASP levels with CRP (p < 0.01), testosterone (p < 0.01) and HOMA-IR (p < 0.01); IL-6 levels with CRP (p <0.01) and testosterone (p < 0.01) and MCP-1 with CRP (p < 0.01); testosterone (p < 0.01) and HOMA-IR (p < 0.02).


This post-hoc analysis revealed that 12 weeks of atorvastatin treatment significantly decreased the markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and inflammation, namely ASP, IL-6 and MCP-1 in obese women with PCOS. Changes in adipose tissue markers were significantly associative with substantial improvements in HOMA-IR, testosterone and hs-CRP levels.

ISRCTN Number: ISRCTN24474824

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Published in: Frontiers in Endocrinology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2019

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (-2015)

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