Down-regulation of autoreactive T-cells by HMG CoA reductase inhibitors

Teodor D. Brumeanu*, Robert Goldstein, Sofia Casares

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The inhibitors of HMG CoA reductase (statins) are widely used as cholesterol-lowering drugs with excellent safety records in hypercholesterolemic patients. Statins exert pleiotropic effects on a variety of cells, and they were recently described as a new class of immune modulators. Depending on their structure, dose, and route of administration, statins regulate the function of both the antigen-presenting cells and T-cells by HMG CoA reductase-dependent and independent mechanisms. Herein, we describe these mechanisms leading to prevention, amelioration, and reversal of autoimmune diseases. We also present data from our laboratories showing for the first time that in a double transgenic mouse model for autoimmune diabetes, atorvastatin (lipitor) prevented the onset of disease when administered in the neonatal period, and stabilized the glucose levels when administered in mice developing a mild form of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Statins
  • T cells
  • Type 1 diabetes


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