Fluvastatin inhibits raft dependent Fcγ receptor signalling in human monocytes


      Statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase and thus block cholesterol and isoprenoid biosynthesis. Since statins also have anti-inflammatory effects, we investigated the effect of fluvastatin on monocyte Fcγ receptor function. Fluvastatin (0.5–20 μM) inhibited Fcγ receptor signal transduction at the level of tyrosine kinase activation, in a time and dose dependent manner. Initiation of tyrosine phosphorylation is not thought to involve prenylated proteins; thus, we hypothesised that fluvastatin might disrupt cholesterol and sphingolipid membrane rafts to impair signalling. Consistent with this hypothesis, fluvastatin decreased (and mevalonate rescued) signalling molecules within membrane rafts in parallel with effects on tyrosine phosphorylation events. Raft integrity was unaffected by prenyl transferase inhibitors. In addition, Fcγ receptor mediated immune complex trafficking, activation of MAP kinases (ERK and p38), and downstream inflammatory mediator release (MMP-1 and IL-6) were blocked by fluvastatin.
      Thus, HMG-CoA reductase inhibition alters immune receptor signalling by disrupting membrane rafts essential for the initiation of signal transduction. Inhibition of Fcγ receptor function may limit development and progression of atherosclerosis by decreasing monocyte/macrophage inflammatory mediator release. Since many receptors utilise cholesterol rich rafts this mechanism may have broader significance given the pleiotropic effects of statins.


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