Statins have been reported to exert anti-inflammatory actions and protect against septic organ dysfunction. Herein, we hypothesized that simvastatin may attenuate neutrophil activation and lung damage in abdominal sepsis. Male C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with simvastatin (0.5 or 10 mg/kg) before CLP. In separate groups, mice received an anti-CD40L antibody or a CXCR2 antagonist (SB225002) prior to CLP. BALF and lung tissue were harvested for analysis of neutrophil infiltration, as well as edema and CXC chemokine formation. Blood was collected for analysis of Mac-1 and CD40L expression on neutrophils and platelets, as well as soluble CD40L in plasma. Simvastatin decreased CLP-induced neutrophil infiltration and edema formation in the lung. Moreover, Mac-1 expression increased on septic neutrophils, which was significantly attenuated by simvastatin. Inhibition of CD40L reduced CLP-induced up-regulation of Mac-1 on neutrophils. Simvastatin prevented CD40L shedding from the surface of platelets and reduced circulating levels of CD40L in septic mice. CXC chemokine-induced migration of neutrophils in vitro was decreased greatly by simvastatin. Moreover, simvastatin abolished CLP-evoked formation of CXC chemokines in the lung, and a CXCR2 antagonist attenuated pulmonary accumulation of neutrophils. Our data suggest that the inhibitory effect of simvastatin on pulmonary accumulation of neutrophils may be related to a reduction of CD40L secretion into the circulation, as well as a decrease in CXC chemokine formation in the lung. Thus, these protective mechanisms help to explain the beneficial actions exerted by statins, such as simvastatin, in sepsis.
- Cell and Molecular Biology