Simvastatin Inhibits Toll-like Receptor 8 (TLR8) Signaling in Primary Human Monocytes and Spontaneous Tumor Necrosis Factor Production from Rheumatoid Synovial Membrane Cultures
Simvastatin has been shown to have antiinflammatory effects that are independent of its serum cholesterol lowering action, but the mechanisms by which these antiinflammatory effects are mediated have not been elucidated. To explore the mechanism involved, the effect of simvastatin on toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling in primary human monocytes was investigated. A short pretreatment with simvastatin dose-dependently inhibited the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in response to TLR8 activation (but not TLR2, -4 or -5). Statins are known inhibitors of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, but, intriguingly, TLR8 inhibition could not be reversed by addition of mevalonate or geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, downstream products of cholesterol biosynthesis. TLR8 signaling was examined in HEK 293 cells stably expressing TLR8, where simvastatin inhibited I kappa B kinase (IKK)α/β phosphorylation and subsequent nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation without affecting the pathway to activating protein-1 (AP-1). Because simvastatin has been reported to have antiinflammatory effects in RA patients and TLR8 signaling contributes to TNF production in human RA synovial tissue in culture, simvastatin was tested in these cultures. Simvastatin significantly inhibited the spontaneous release of TNF in this model, which was not reversed by mevalonate. Together, these results demonstrate a hitherto unrecognized mechanism of simvastatin inhibition of TLR8 signaling that may in part explain its beneficial antiinflammatory effects.
This work was supported by funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (integrated project Masterswitch; 223404) and by Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
- 27.Menck K, et al. (2014) Isolation of human monocytes by double gradient centrifugation and their differentiation to macrophages in teflon-coated cell culture bags. J. Vis. Exp. e51554.Google Scholar
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which permits any non-commercial use, sharing, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, and provide a link to the Creative Commons license. You do not have permission under this license to share adapted material derived from this article or parts of it.
The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
To view a copy of this license, visit (https://doi.org/creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)