3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase-independent inhibition of CD40 expression by atorvastatin in human endothelial cells.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Nov 01; 22(11):1784-9.AT
3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) exert potent anti-inflammatory effects that are independent of their cholesterol-lowering action. We have investigated the effects of these drugs on cytokine-stimulated CD40 expression in human cultured endothelial cells and monocytes.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis revealed that treatment of either cell type with atorvastatin, cerivastatin, or pravastatin (1 to 10 micromol/L) inhibited interferon-gamma plus tumor necrosis factor-alpha-stimulated CD40 expression by approximately 50%, an effect that was not reversed by the HMG-CoA reductase product mevalonic acid (400 micromol/L). In contrast, mevalonic acid prevented the inhibitory effect of atorvastatin on cytokine-stimulated vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression and subsequent adhesion of THP-1 monocytes to the cultured endothelial cells. Transcription factor analysis revealed an inhibition by atorvastatin of nuclear factor-kappaB plus signal transducer and activator of transcription-1-dependent de novo synthesis of interferon regulatory factor-1, governing cytokine-stimulated CD40 expression in these cells. One consequence of this statin-dependent downregulation of CD40 expression was a decrease in CD40 ligand-induced endothelial interleukin-12 expression.
By interfering with cytokine-stimulated CD40 expression in vascular cells, statins thus seem capable of attenuating CD40 ligand-induced proinflammatory responses, including atherosclerosis. In addition, they point to the coexistence of HMG-CoA reductase-dependent and -independent effects of statins in the same cell type.