Toward Immunomodulatory and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Statins

Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2005 Aug;15(6):202-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2005.07.002.


Over the past decade, a large number of studies reported a prominent role of inflammation and immune response in atherosclerosis. Thus, therapeutic strategies to reduce inflammation could exert beneficial effects in the prevention of atherosclerosis progression. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (statins) have demonstrated their capacity to greatly reduce coronary morbidity and mortality in both primary and secondary intervention trials. Furthermore, originally described as the most efficient drugs to reduce serum cholesterol, recent reports suggest that statins also confer cardiovascular benefits by their ability to modulate immuno-inflammatory processes. This review summarizes in vitro and in vivo evidence of immunomodulatory properties of statins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / immunology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • CD40 Antigens / drug effects
  • CD40 Ligand / drug effects
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / immunology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / drug effects
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Th2 Cells / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • CD40 Ligand