Statins enhance anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled corticosteroids in asthma

In this study, 50 asthmatic patients were treated with 200 μg of budesonide and randomly assigned to either 10 mg of simvastatin (low dose) or placebo for 8 weeks.

Sputum eosinophils were reduced by the combined therapy with budesonide and simvastatin compared with budesonide alone.

Inhaled corticosteroids work in part by activating indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) through increased IL-10 secretion. Corticosteroids activate glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor ligand, which induces activation of p52 through the nuclear factor κB pathway (NFkB). This leads to increased transcription and activation of IDO.

Simvastatin enhanced corticosteroid-activated NFkB-induction of IDO by activating type I interferons. It also enhanced the effect of corticosteroid on IL-10 release.

A statin enhances the anti-inflammatory effect of an inhaled corticosteroid in asthma, and this was mediated through the alteration of IDO activity in macrophages.

Statins May Worsen Asthma - New Findings Contradict Earlier Studies (ACAAI, 2011).

Simvastatin provides little help for reducing steroid use in asthma. JACI Blog, 2010.

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