Nervenarzt. 2003 Aug;74(8):704-7
Neuhaus O, Wiendl H, Kieseier BC, Archelos JJ, Hartung HP.
Neurologische Universitatsklinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf
Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, which is crucial for cholesterol biosynthesis, and are widely used as lipid-lowering agents.
These drugs greatly reduce atherosclerosis and cardiovascular morbidity, which in the past was mainly attributed to their cholesterol-lowering properties.
However, recent evidence suggests that statins are also potent immunomodulators.
They exerted beneficial effects on animal models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and thus have therapeutic potential for multiple sclerosis.
Their exact mechanism of action is still unclear.
HMG-CoA-dependent effects and a direct effect on immune receptors are conceivable and are reviewed here.