Effects of statins on the immunoglobulin G glycome

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2017 May;1861(5 Pt A):1152-1158. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2017.02.029. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


Background: Statins are among the most widely prescribed medications worldwide and usually many individuals involved in clinical and population studies are on statin therapy. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) glycosylation has been associated with numerous cardiometabolic risk factors.

Methods: The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association of statin use with N-glycosylation of IgG. The association was analyzed in two large population cohorts (TwinsUK and KORA) using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC-UPLC) in the TwinsUK cohort and reverse phase liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) in the KORA cohort. Afterwards we investigated the same association for only one statin (rosuvastatin) in a subset of individuals from the randomized double-blind placebo-controlled JUPITER study using LC-ESI-MS for IgG glycome and HILIC-UPLC for total plasma N-glycome.

Results: In the TwinsUK population, the use of statins was associated with higher levels of core-fucosylated biantennary glycan structure with bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (FA2B) and lower levels of core-fucosylated biantennary digalactosylated monosialylated glycan structure (FA2G2S1). The association between statin use and FA2B was replicated in the KORA cohort. In the JUPITER trial we found no statistically significant differences between the randomly allocated placebo and rosuvastatin groups.

Conclusions: In the TwinsUK and KORA cohorts, statin use was associated with a small increase of pro-inflammatory IgG glycan, although this finding was not confirmed in a subset of participants from the JUPITER trial.

General significance: Even if the association between IgG N-glycome and statins exists, it is not large enough to pose a problem for glycomic studies.

Keywords: Immunoglobulin G; N-glycosylation; Rosuvastatin; Statin; Total plasma N-glycome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glycomics / methods
  • Glycosylation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Sulfonamides / metabolism


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polysaccharides
  • Sulfonamides
  • glycosylated IgG
  • Acetylglucosamine