In addition to lipid lowering effects, statins appear to have pleiotropic immunomodulatory properties. As they particularly affect monocyte functions, we tested the influence of statin treatment on the monocyte activating toll-like receptors (TLR) 4 and 2 in response to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in vivo. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 20 healthy, male subjects were randomized to receive either simvastatin (80 mg/day) or placebo for 4 days before intravenous LPS administration (20 IU/kg). Simvastatin did not influence the increase in TLR transcripts after LPS administration measured in mRNA isolated from whole blood by quantitative RT-PCR. In contrast, the parallel upregulation of TLR4 and TLR2 on the surface of monocytes determined by flow cytometry was attenuated by more than half after LPS challenge (P < 0.02). Suppressed TLR4 and TLR2 expression was associated with diminished circulating concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. In conclusion, high-dose simvastatin pretreatment blunted TLR4 and TLR2 expression on monocytes in a human endotoxemia model on a posttranscriptional level. This suppressive effect of statins on key receptors of the innate immunity which was associated with a reduction of effector cytokines reveals a potential mechanism for their beneficial effects in sepsis and cardiovascular disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Dec 2006|
- Innate immune system
- Toll-like receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine