Given the role that T lymphocytes play on the pathogenesis of allergic asthma, drugs targeting Th2 and Th17 cells may be a hopeful therapeutic strategy. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of rosuvastatin treatment on cytokine production and lung inflammation in allergic asthma.
The animals were assigned into control (C), asthmatic (A), hyperlipidemic (H), asthmatic-hyperlipidemic (AH), rosuvastatin (40 mg/kg/day intraperitoneally, for 3 weeks)-treated asthmatic (AR), rosuvastatin-treated hyperlipidemic (HR) and rosuvastatin-treated asthmatic-hyperlipidemic (AHR) groups (n = 6 in each group). The levels of IL-4, IFN-γ and IL-17, total and differential WBC counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), Th1/Th2 balance, and pathological changes were evaluated.
The BALF level of IL-4 in A, H and AH groups, and IL-17A in A and AH groups were significantly higher than that in C group (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). IFN-γ level and Th1/Th2 balance (IFN‑γ/IL-4 ratio) in A and AH groups were significantly decreased (p < 0.05 to p < 0.01). Inflammatory cells infiltration, muscle hypertrophy and emphysema were also observed in A and AH groups. The BALF levels of IL-4 in AR, HR and AHR groups, IFN-γ level in HR group, and IL-17A level in AR and AHR groups showed a significant improvement compared to that of A, H and AH groups (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). Rosuvastatin treatment increased Th1/Th2 balance in all treated groups (p < 0.05 to p < 0.01), decreased total WBC counts, neutrophilia, eosinophilia and lung inflammation in AR and AHR groups, and improved muscle hypertrophy and emphysema in AHR group.
Rosuvastatin treatment improved lung pathological changes by suppression of Th2 and Th17-mediated cytokines which was unrelated to its lipid-lowering activity. Therefore, rosuvastatin might be a candidate immunomodulatory drug for treatment of patients with allergic asthma.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.