Statins differ in their ability to block NF-kappaB activation



That all statins block NF-kappaB activation is another reason they are anti-cancer agents. All
things being equal, the ones that block it the best are the best ones to use for fighting cancer.


Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Sep;41(9):397-401.

Statins differ in their ability to block NF-kappaB activation in human blood monocytes.

Hilgendorff A, Muth H, Parviz B, Staubitz A, Haberbosch W, Tillmanns H, Holschermann H. Department
of Internal Medicine, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: The benefits of statin therapy in cardiovascular medicine are ascribed to its lipid-
lowering effect as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. Whereas all statins have been shown to
reduce cholesterol plasma levels, their effect on inflammatory markers has been inconsistent. Here,
we show that statins differ markedly in their effectiveness in preventing activation of NF-kappaB, a
transcription factor involved in the activation of immediately early genes during inflammation.

METHODS: Six statins (atorvastatin (Atv), cerivastatin (Cer), fluvastatin (Flu), lovastatin (Lov),
pravastatin (Pra), simvastatin (Sim)) were tested for their ability to influence the induction of
NF-kappaB in human monocytes
(Mo) during inflammation. Mo isolated from healthy blood donors were incubated with LPS (10
microg/ml) in the presence and absence of statin (.001-5 microM). NF-kappaB binding activity
(EMSA), degradation and phosphorylation of the inhibitor protein IkappaB-alpha (Western
blotting), tissue factor (TF) mRNA (rtPCR), and TF activity (clotting assay) were analyzed.

RESULTS: All statins inhibited LPS-induced NF-kappaB binding activity in Mo in a dose-dependent
manner. The inhibitory effect was due to reduced phosphorylation and degradation of the NF-kappaB
inhibitor protein IkappaB, and was primarily dependent on the absence of mevalonate. Whilst this
effect appeared with all statins, there were marked differences in the degree of inhibition between
the statins. Cer (45 +/- 9% inhibition, p < 0.05) was 9-fold more effective in reducing NF-kappaB
activation than Flu (5 +/- 10% inhibition). The differences in the potency of statins (Cer > Atv >
Sim > Pra > Lov > Flu) were also reflected at the transcriptional level and the protein level of NF-
kappaB controlled tissue factor expression.

CONCLUSIONS: The finding that statins differ in their potency in interfering with the activation of
NF-kappaB signaling in human monocytes further supports the hypothesis that some statins inhibit the
inflammatory response more than others.