Statins can suppress DC-mediated Th2 responses through the repression of OX40-ligand and CCL17 expression.Eur J Immunol. 2019 11; 49(11):2051-2062.EJ
DCs and epithelial cell-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) have pivotal roles in allergic inflammation. TSLP stimulates myeloid DCs to express OX40-ligand (OX40L) and CCL17, which trigger and maintain Th2 cell responses. We have previously shown that statins, which are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, have the ability to suppress type I IFN production by plasmacytoid DCs. Here, we extended our previous work to examine the immunomodulatory effect of statins on allergic responses, particularly the TSLP-dependent Th2 pathway induced by myeloid DCs. We found that treatment of TSLP-stimulated DCs with either pitavastatin or simvastatin suppressed both the DC-mediated inflammatory Th2 cell differentiation and CRTH2+ CD4+ memory Th2 cell expansion and also repressed the expressions of OX40L and CCL17 by DCs. These inhibitory effects of statins were mimicked by treatment with either a geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitor or Rho-kinase inhibitor and were counteracted by the addition of mevalonate, suggesting that statins induce geranylgeranylated Rho inactivation through a mevalonate-dependent pathway. We also found that statins inhibited the expressions of phosphorylated STA6 and NF-κB-p50 in TSLP-stimulated DCs. This study identified a specific ability of statins to control DC-mediated Th2 responses, suggesting their therapeutic potential for treating allergic diseases.