T cells are prominent components of both early and late atherosclerotic lesions and the role of Th1/Th2 cells subsets in the evolution and rupture of the plaque is currently under investigation. Statins, which are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase, exert actions beyond that of simply lowering cholesterol levels, and some effects on immune function have been reported. We studied in vitro the effects of fluvastatin on Th1/Th2 cytokine release in relation to caspase-1 activation, in human peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated or not with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Fluvastatin treatment resulted in the activation of caspase-1 and in a small secretion of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-18, and IFNgamma (Th1). In the presence of bacteria, the release of these cytokines was highly increased by the statin in a synergistic way. By contrast, production of IL-12, IL-10 and IL-4 were unaffected by the statin. Not only did mevalonate abolish the effects of the statin but it also prevented the caspase-1 activation induced by the bacteria, suggesting the involvement of isoprenoids in the response to M. tuberculosis. It is proposed that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase may be immunoprotective by enhancing the Th1 response, which has therapeutical potential not only in atherosclerosis but also in infectious diseases.