Statins are currently the most prescribed hypercholesterolemia-lowering drugs worldwide, with estimated usage approaching one-sixth of the population. However, statins are known to cause pleiotropic skeletal myopathies in 1.5% to 10% of patients and the mechanisms by which statins induce this response, are not fully understood. In this study, a 3D collagen-based tissue-engineered skeletal muscle construct is utilised as a screening platform to test the eﬃcacy and toxicity of a new delivery system. A hyaluronic acid derived nanoparticle loaded with simvastatin (HA-SIM-NPs) is designed and the eﬀect of free simvastatin and HA-SIM-NPs on cellular, molecular and tissue response is investigated. Morphological ablation of myo-tubes and lack of de novo myotube formation (regeneration) was evident at the highest concentrations (333.33 µM), independent of delivery vehicle (SIM or HA-SIM-NP). A dose-dependent disruption of the cytoskeleton, reductions in metabolic activity and tissue engineered (TE) construct tissue relaxation was evident in the free drug condition (SIM, 3.33 µM and 33.33 nM). However, most of these changes were ameliorated when SIM was delivered via HA-SIM-NPs. Signiﬁcantly, homogeneous expressions of MMP2, MMP9, and myogenin in HA-SIM-NPs outlined enhanced regenerative responses compared to SIM. Together, these results outline statin delivery via HA-SIM-NP as an eﬀective delivery mechanism to inhibit deleterious myotoxic side-eﬀects.
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