Aims: The aims of this study were to determine a mechanism and general timeline for statin related anti-inflammatory activity.
Methods: Healthy male subjects received rosuvastatin (20 mg daily) for 3 weeks. Blood samples before and after treatment were collected for
clinical laboratories and research procedures. Toll-like receptor-4 (tlr-4) expression on blood monocytes was measured using flow cytometry
before and after rosuvastatin treatment. Inflammatory molecules were measured before and after rosuvastatin and after blood samples were
incubated for 3 hours with or without lipopolysaccharide. Plasma was collected and analyzed for IL-6, TNF-α, IL-8, IGF-1, and sCD14.
Comparisons were made using Mann-Whitney rank sum test and paired Student’s t-test with significance defined as p≤0.05.
Key findings: The expression oftlr-4on blood monocytes was significantly lower after 3 weeks of rosuvastatin (p = 0.046). Consistent
with the reduced expression of tlr-4, the TNF-α release from blood receiving LPS trended lower (p = 0.08). None of the other inflammatory
markers (IL-8, sCD14, IL-6, IGF-1, C-reactive protein) were modified with rosuvastatin treatment. There were significant declines
in total cholesterol (p<0.0001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p<0.0001), and total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein
cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio (p<0.0001) after 3 weeks of treatment. There was no significant effect on triglycerides, very low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), or HDL-C.
Significance: The decline in tlr-4 expression on blood monocytes and TNF-α plasma concentrations after 3 weeks of rosuvastatin treatment
suggest a potential mechanism for the anti-inflammatory activity of rosuvastatin.