Table of Contents
ISRN Immunology
Volume 2014, Article ID 295239, 7 pages
Research Article

Effects of Atorvastatin on Atherosclerosis and Atherogenesis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Pilot Study

1Department of Rheumatology, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK
2CEDOC Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1169-056 Lisboa, Portugal
3Corgenix Inc, Broomfield, CO, USA
4Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 4SA, UK
5NIHR Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds LS7 4SA, UK
6William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Hospital, London, UK

Received 17 December 2013; Accepted 27 January 2014; Published 19 March 2014

Academic Editors: I. Matsumoto and M. Sorice

Copyright © 2014 Katharina Benita Sokoll et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The effect of statins on atherogenesis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is poorly known. To inform a wider trial we performed a pilot study evaluating the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery (CIMT) and some oxidative [beta-2-glycoprotein-1 complexed with oxidised low density lipoprotein ( 2GPIoxLDL)], metabolic [paraoxonase (PON), nitrate ( ), nitrite ( ) and nitrotyrosine (NT)], inflammatory [C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA)], and lipid markers before and after 1 year of treatment with 40 mg of oral atorvastatin (AT). Methods. Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled pilot study on consecutive SLE patients: 17 SLE patients were randomised into the AT arm and 20 into the placebo arm. CIMT was measured by high-resolution sonography, PONa by a spectrophotometric method, and by a colorimetric assay and oxLDL- 2GPI, NT, CRP, and SAA by Elisa. Results. After correction for age and disease duration oxLDL- 2GPI decreased by 27% ( ) and PON/HDL ratio increased by 12% ( ) but CIMT did not change. Conclusion. This pilot study revealed a decrease of oxLDL- 2GPI (oxidant marker) and an increase of PON/HDL ratio (antioxidant activity) after AT indicating a favourable effect of the drug on atherogenic pathways that should be explored on larger trials.