Statins in the treatment of central nervous system autoimmune disease

Martin S. Weber, Sawsan Youssef, Shannon E. Dunn, Thomas Prod'homme, Oliver Neuhaus, Olaf Stuve, John Greenwood, Lawrence Steinman, Scott S. Zamvil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Statins, inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, are widely prescribed for their cholesterol-lowering properties to reduce atherogenesis and cardiovascular morbidity. Over recent years, statins have also been shown to exert pleiotropic immunomodulatory effects that might be of therapeutic benefit in autoimmune disorders. The primary mechanism by which statins alter immune function appears to be mediated through the inhibition of post-translational protein prenylation of small GTP-binding proteins and is largely independent of lipid-lowering. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse model for multiple sclerosis (MS), statins prevent or reverse paralysis and were recently shown to exert synergistic benefit when combined with agents approved for MS therapy. Based primarily upon the beneficial effects in EAE, statins are now being tested in patients in MS clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Combination therapy
  • EAE
  • MS
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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