Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Center of Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Statins have previously been shown to reduce the in vitro infection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through modulation of Rho GTPase activity and lipid raft formation at the cell surface, as well as by disrupting LFA-1 incorporation into viral particles.
Here we demonstrate that treatment of an enriched CD4(+) lymphocyte population with lovastatin (Lov), mevastatin (Mev) and simvastatin (activated and non-activated, Sim(A) and Sim(N), respectively) can reduce the cell surface expression of the CC-chemokine receptor CCR5 (P<0.01 for Sim(A) and Lov). The lowered CCR5 expression was associated with down-regulation of CCR5 mRNA expression. The CC-chemokine RANTES protein and mRNA expression levels were slightly increased in CD4(+) enriched lymphocytes treated with statins. Both R5 and X4 HIV-1 were reduced for their infection of statin-treated cells; however, in cultures where statins were removed and where a decrease in CCR5 expression was observed, there was a preferential inhibition of infection with an R5 versus X4 virus.
The results indicate that the modulation of CC-chemokine receptor (CCR5) and CC-chemokine (RANTES) expression levels should be considered as contributing to the anti-viral effects of statins, preferentially inhibiting R5 viruses. This observation, in combination with the immunomodulatory activity exerted by statins, suggests they may possess more potent anti-HIV-1 activity when applied during the early stages of infection or in lowering viral transmission. Alternatively, statin treatment could be considered as a way to modulate immune induction such as during vaccination protocols.
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
- PMCID: PMC1867858