A novel, proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-18 production was detected in the medium of human monocytes treated with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, pravastatin, and fluvastatin (0.1 and 1 muM) but not with the statin-derived lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) inhibitor LFA703, which did not inhibit HMG-CoA reductase. Pravastatin and fluvastatin also induced the production of IL-18, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in contrast to LFA703. IL-18 production by PBMC is located upstream of the cytokine cascade activated by these statins. The IL-18-induced cytokine production was demonstrated to be dependent on adhesion molecule expression on monocytes. In the absence and presence of lower concentrations (0.1 and 1 ng/ml) of IL-18, pravastatin and fluvastatin inhibited the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and induced the expression of CD40, whereas LFA703 had no effect. In the presence of higher concentrations (5, 10, and 100 ng/ml) of IL-18, pravastatin, fluvastatin, and LFA703 similarly inhibited the expression of ICAM-1 and CD40 as well as the production of IL-12, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma in PBMC. The effects of pravastatin and fluvastatin but not LFA703 were abolished by the addition of mevalonate, indicating the involvement of HMG-CoA reductase in the action of pravastatin and fluvastatin. Thus, the effects of LFA703 were distinct from those of pravastatin and fluvastatin in the presence of lower concentrations of IL-18. It was concluded that LFA703 has the inhibitory effect on an IL-18-initiated immune response without any activation on monocytes.
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