Statins Inhibit Cytokines in a Dose-Dependent Response in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis

  • Rafaela Silva Guimarães GonçalvesEmail author
  • Andréa Tavares Dantas
  • Michelly Cristiny Pereira
  • Anderson Rodrigues de Almeida
  • Moacyr J. B. M. Rego
  • Ivan da Rocha Pitta
  • Angela Luzia Branco Pinto Duarte
  • Maira Galdino da Rocha Pitta
Letter to the Editor


Although statins have been successfully administered in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular disease due to their lipid-lowering and anti-atherosclerotic action, they have shown immunomodulatory effects in several studies with immune-mediated diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of statins treatment on Th1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines production from stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) patients. We recruited 21 patients classified according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria for SSc for PBMCs culture analysis. Cytokine levels (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF, IFN-γ, IL-17A, and IL-17F) were quantified by ELISA or CBA, and patients were assessed for clinical and exam’s variables. Simvastatin and atorvastatin at 50 μM promoted reduction in all cytokine levels with statistical significance, except for IL-6, which had its reduction only induced by the use of simvastatin. Statins, particularly simvastatin, appear to have an immunosuppressive effect in reducing all cytokine secretion levels from PBMCs of SSc in a dose-dependent manner.

Key Words

scleroderma simvastatin atorvastatin Th cells 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

The study protocol was approved by the ethics committee of Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (CAAE: 63515916.1.0000.5208), according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki, and informed consent was obtained from all subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafaela Silva Guimarães Gonçalves
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andréa Tavares Dantas
    • 1
  • Michelly Cristiny Pereira
    • 2
  • Anderson Rodrigues de Almeida
    • 2
  • Moacyr J. B. M. Rego
    • 2
  • Ivan da Rocha Pitta
    • 2
  • Angela Luzia Branco Pinto Duarte
    • 1
  • Maira Galdino da Rocha Pitta
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Imunomodulação e Novas Abordagens Terapêuticas Suely GaldinoUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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