The effect of Atorvastatin on transcriptional activity in murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by PLP peptide 139-151 was analyzed by DNA microarray technique in lymph nodes and spinal cord at onset (10 days), height (20 days) and first remission (30 days) of disease. Fourteen genes were selectively influenced by Atorvastatin in EAE mice. They are mainly related to immune cell functions and regulation of cell-to-cell interaction. Interestingly, seven genes were also differentially regulated in CFA-injected control mice. But qualitative and quantitative differences to EAE mice argue for a dependency of statin effects on the activation status of target cells. Differential regulation of the newly detected candidate genes of statin effects COX-1 and HSP-105 and the previously known statin-responsive genes ICAM-1 and CD86 was confirmed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Flow cytometric analysis of lymph node cells revealed that the effect of Atorvastatin treatment in non-immunized healthy animals resembled the effect of immunization with PLP peptide regarding changes of T helper cells, activated B cells and macrophages. In EAE mice, these effects were partially reversed by Atorvastatin treatment. Monitoring of expression of the newly identified candidate genes and patterns of lymphocyte subpopulations might predict the responsiveness of multiple sclerosis patients to statin treatment.