HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, are potent plasma LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) lowering agents. Since the introduction of the first statin, lovastatin, in 1987, accumulating evidence showed that non-cholesterol lowering effects play an important role in their efficacy to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Thus, these non-LDL-c lowering properties could benefit patients with immune-mediated diseases. Statins and their associated immune-modulating roles have recently received much attention. Different statins have been administered in various experimental and clinical studies focused on autoimmunity. The results indicate that statins can modulate immune responses through mevalonate pathway-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects include cell adhesion, migration of antigen presenting cells, and differentiation, as well as activation, of T-cells. In various autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis), promising results have been obtained to date.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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Thomas P Johnston