Background and aims. Statins, the mevalonate pathway inhibitors, have effects on bone formation in vitro and in vivo.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether injection of statins could lead to ectopic bone formation in rats.
Materials and methods. A single dose (0.5 mg) of simvastatin, atrovastatin, lovastatin and polyethylene glycol (control
material) were injected into four quadrants of dorsal subcutaneous tissue in twelve rats. Intramuscular injections of the same
statins were also done in femur and arm muscles of eight other rats.
Results. Cartilage formation was observed in simvastatin-treated area in one rat after six weeks. Bone formation was also
evident in lovastatin-treated area in one rat and simvastatin-treated area in another after this period. No hard tissue formation
was detected in muscles.
Conclusion. Subcutaneous injection of simvastatin and lovastatin can induce ectopic bone formation.