Statins and autoimmunity: State-of-the-art

Sajad Dehnavi, Nasrollah Sohrabi, Mahvash Sadeghi, Peter Lansberg, Maciej Banach, Khalid Al-Rasadi, Thomas P. Johnston, Amirhossein Sahebkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, are potent plasma LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) lowering agents. Since the introduction of the first statin, lovastatin, in 1987, accumulating evidence showed that non-cholesterol lowering effects play an important role in their efficacy to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Thus, these non-LDL-c lowering properties could benefit patients with immune-mediated diseases. Statins and their associated immune-modulating roles have recently received much attention. Different statins have been administered in various experimental and clinical studies focused on autoimmunity. The results indicate that statins can modulate immune responses through mevalonate pathway-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects include cell adhesion, migration of antigen presenting cells, and differentiation, as well as activation, of T-cells. In various autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis), promising results have been obtained to date.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107614
Pages (from-to)107614
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Immunomodulation
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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