Statins as anti-inflammatory agents

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2002 Oct;23(10):482-6. doi: 10.1016/s0165-6147(02)02077-1.


The beneficial effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) in cardiovascular disease have generally been attributed to their cholesterol-lowering property. However, an increasing number of in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that statins have direct anti-inflammatory effects that are not mediated by their hypocholesterolemic activity. In this article, the HMG-CoA-reductase-dependent and -independent mechanisms by which statins might affect leukocyte adhesion and migration to sites of inflammation are reviewed and the implications for the design of new statin-derived drugs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-8 / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-8