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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 167086, 10 pages
Review Article

Statins as Modulators of Regulatory T-Cell Biology

Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Antonio Nariño, Bogotá, Colombia

Received 2 May 2013; Revised 29 August 2013; Accepted 3 September 2013

Academic Editor: Sandra Helena Penha Oliveira

Copyright © 2013 David A. Forero-Peña and Fredy R. S. Gutierrez. 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.


Statins are pharmacological inhibitors of the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol. Some recent experimental studies have shown that besides their effects on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, statins may also have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects through diverse mechanisms. On the other hand, the induction and activity of regulatory T cells (Treg) are key processes in the prevention of pathology during chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Hence, strategies oriented towards the therapeutic expansion of Tregs are gaining special attention among biomedical researchers. The potential effects of statins on the biology of Treg are of particular importance because of their eventual application as in vivo inducers of Treg in the treatment of multiple conditions. In this paper we review the experimental evidence pointing out to a potential effect of statins on the role of regulatory T cells in different conditions and discuss its potential clinical significance.