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More MS news articles for March 2004

Toward a role for statins in immunomodulation

Mol Intervent. 2002 Dec;2(8):478-80
Mach F.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Foundation for Medical Research, University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland.

The family of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) inhibitors, collectively known as statins, is used clinically to reduce cholesterol levels in patients.

Recent reports suggest that not only would statin therapy be beneficial for at-risk (genetically predisposed) people without symptoms of hypercholesterolemia, but that statins may have beneficial, pleiotropic effects in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Youssef et al. have described how an HMG-CoA inhibitor, atorvastatin, might ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse model for human multiple sclerosis.

The possible clinical use of statins as anti-inflammatory drugs has also been demonstrated in other published reports.

These provocative results suggest a role for statins in relieving autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.