Background and purpose: The mechanisms of anti-inflammatory actions of statins, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, remain unclear. We investigated the effects of statins on interleukin (IL)-6-induced monocyte chemo-attractant protein (MCP)-1 expression and monocyte chemotaxis. Experimental approach: Cultures of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) were stimulated with IL-6 in the absence and presence of statins. Gene expression and protein secretion of MCP-1, phosphorylation of Janus kinase (JAK) and the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway, and human monocyte migration were examined. Key results: IL-6 plus its soluble receptor sIL-6R (IL-6/sIL-6R) promoted THP-1 monocyte migration, and increased gene expression and protein secretion of MCP-1, more than IL-6 alone or sIL-6R alone. Various statins inhibited IL-6/sIL-6R-promoted monocyte migration and MCP-1 expression in HAECs. Co-incubation of mevalonate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, but not farnesyl pyrophosphate, reversed the inhibitory effects of statins on MCP-1 expression. Geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitor, but not farnesyl transferase inhibitor, suppressed IL-6/sIL-6R-stimulated MCP-1 expression. IL-6/sIL-6R rapidly phosphorylated JAK1, JAK2, TYK2, STAT1 and STAT3, which were inhibited by statins. Transfection of STAT3 small interfering RNA (siRNA), but not STAT1 siRNA, attenuated the ability of IL-6/sIL-6R to enhance THP-1 monocyte migration. In addition, statins blocked IL-6/sIL-6R-induced translocation of STAT3 to the nucleus. Conclusions and implications: Statins suppressed IL-6/sIL-6R-induced monocyte chemotaxis and MCP-1 expression in HAECs by inhibiting JAK/STAT signalling cascades, explaining why statins have anti-inflammatory properties beyond cholesterol reduction.
- MCP-1, JAK
ASJC Scopus subject areas