Background and purpose:Experimental and clinical investigations have revealed that statins can downregulate both acute and chronic inflammatory processes. Whether statins express anti-inflammatory activities in the treatment of Crohn's disease is unknown.Experimental approach:Ten patients were given 80 mg atorvastatin once daily for 13 weeks and then followed up for 8 weeks after the treatment. The anti-inflammatory effects of statin were assessed by measuring levels of plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), soluble (s) CD14, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, sTNFRI and II, CCL2 and 8 and the mucosal inflammation by faecal calprotectin. Circulating monocytes were subgrouped and their chemokine receptor expression of CCR2 and CX(3)CR1 were analysed.Key results:In 8 of 10 patients, atorvastatin treatment reduced CRP (P=0.008) and sTNFRII (P=0.064). A slight decrease in plasma levels of sCD14, TNF-alpha and sTNFRI was observed in 7/10 patients and faecal calprotectin was reduced in 8/10 patients. We also observed that the treatment diminished expression of CCR2 and CX(3)CR1 on monocyte populations (P=0.014). At the follow-up visit, 8 weeks after the atorvastatin treatment was terminated, CRP levels had returned to those seen before the treatment.Conclusions and implications:Our findings imply that atorvastatin therapy reduces inflammation in patients with Crohn's disease and, therefore, encourage further investigations of statin-mediated protective effects in inflammatory bowel diseases.British Journal of Pharmacology advance online publication, 22 September 2008; doi:10.1038/bjp.2008.369.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Pharmacology and Toxicology