Simvastatin protection against acute immune-mediated glomerulonephritis in mice

Kidney Int. 2006 Feb;69(3):457-63. doi: 10.1038/


In addition to cholesterol lowering, 3-hydroxy-3-nethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors limit inflammatory changes associated with atherosclerosis. There is also support for their use as inhibitors of progression in chronic renal disease, irrespective of cause. In this study, their capacity to limit acute renal inflammation was evaluated. For this purpose, mice were treated with Simvastatin either prior to, at the time of, or shortly after induction of nephrotoxic nephritis. The severity of disease was determined by evaluation of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), proteinuria, and renal histologic changes. The reversibility of benefit was evaluated by the administration of mevalonic acid along with nephrotoxic serum (NTS) and Simvastatin The severity of the acute nephritis, including proteinuria, elevated BUN, and histologic changes, was ameliorated in a dose-dependent manner, when Simvastatin was administered either prior to NTS injection or at the time of NTS injection. By contrast, Simvastatin did not alter the course of established nephritis. Coadministration of mevalonic acid, the immediate substrate following HMG-CoA reductase, abolished Simvastatin's renoprotective effect, indicating that the benefit is, at least in part, due to interference with HMG-CoA reductase and biosynthetic substrates downstream from the enzyme. These findings provide the rationale for the evaluation of the efficacy of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors in patients with recurrent forms of renal inflammation, to limit the severity of acute exacerbations of disease, prevent renal scarring and slow the rate of progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / drug therapy*
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Mevalonic Acid / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Proteinuria
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Simvastatin
  • Mevalonic Acid