Statins: Panacea for sepsis?

Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Science Centre, Toronto, Canada.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 19.45). 05/2006; 6(4):242-8. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70439-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sepsis occurs when the immune system responds to a localised infection at a systemic level, thereby causing tissue damage and organ dysfunction. Statins have proven health benefits in many diseases involving vascular inflammation and injury. Recent animal data suggest that the administration of a statin before a sepsis-inducing insult reduces morbidity and improves survival. The immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of statins, collectively referred to as pleiotropic effects, lend biological plausibility to such findings. Limited human data hint at reduced mortality rates in bacteraemic patients, and a reduced risk of sepsis in patients with bacterial infections concurrently taking statins. These lines of evidence point to a potential new treatment and prevention modality for sepsis. The stage is set for randomised controlled clinical trials that will determine whether statins represent a safe and beneficial treatment in critically ill, septic patients and whether statins are effective at preventing sepsis in high-risk clinical settings.

Download full-text


Available from: Marius Terblanche, Aug 14, 2015
  • Source
    • "During onset of sepsis , the inflammatory system becomes hyperactive, leading to an over-production of proinflammatory mediators, which contribute to septic shock, multiple organ failure, and death (Terblanche et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Trebouxia sp. is a genus of green algae that is a symbiotic partner of lichenized fungi. Previous studies conduced demonstrated that Trebouxia sp. is able to produce galactofuranose-rich polysaccharides (β-d-galactofuranan, mannogalactofuranan), which were able to activate macrophages in vitro. The present study was proposed to investigate the effects of SK10 polysaccharides fraction from Trebouxia sp. on the model of polymicrobial sepsis induced by cecal ligation and puncture in mice in vivo. The subcutaneous administration of SK10 increased the late mortality rate by 20%, stimulated neutrophil accumulation in lungs (indirectly measured through myeloperoxidase activity) and also Interleukin-1β, creatinine and glucose serum levels. Moreover this study demonstrates the in vivo proinflammatory effects of polymers of galactofuranose and that they can act as pathogen-associated molecular patterns being highly recognized by the immune system of mammals, even if they come from a non-pathogenic microorganism.
    Phytochemistry 06/2013; 94. DOI:10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.05.020 · 3.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Moreover, a number of animal models have provided data indicating that statins are effective in the prevention and treatment of sepsis. Although no data from randomized controlled trials are available, interesting observational data also suggest that such beneficial effects may occur in human beings with sepsis [5]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of statins has shown several anti-inflammatory actions, including modulatory effects on T cells in vitro. Since the effects on human T cells in vivo are less clarified, our aim was to investigate the effects of simvastatin on human T cells in vivo and ex vivo. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study design was applied. Eighty volunteers with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia received either simvastatin 40 mg or placebo for 6 weeks. The serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were significantly reduced by simvastatin. The proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets expressing early (CD25) or late (HLA-DR) activation markers, as assessed by flow cytometry, were not changed by simvastatin. However, simvastatin tended to increase the density of HLA-DR and L-selectin per CD8+ T cell. The T helper(h)1/Th2 response was evaluated by stimulatory assays followed by intra-cellular staining of interferon-gamma and interleukin-4. Simvastatin treatment did not affect the Th1 response but the results indicated a potential to suppress Th2. Simvastatin treatment resulted in a few discrete changes as regards peripheral T cells. However, the findings do not provide evidence that simvastatin-induced anti-inflammatory actions are related to any significant modulatory effects on human T cells in clinically healthy men with hypercholesterolemia.
    Atherosclerosis 08/2007; 193(1):186-92. DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.06.022 · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Sepsis continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Evidence is emerging from observational studies and basic science research that statins might be associated with reduced mortality in sepsis. Statins have diverse immunomodulatory and anti- inflammatory properties independent of their lipid-lowering ability. The protective association between statins and sepsis persisted in high-risk subgroups including patients with diabetes mellitus, those with malignancy, and those receiving steroids. This review discusses the basis of these observations and the current place of statin therapy in patients with sepsis. This is a rapidly growing field of fascinating experimental biology. It suggests an urgent need to investigate the pharmacology of these drugs and reappraise their therapeutic indications in critically ill patients. If this finding is supported by prospective controlled trials, statins may play an important role in sepsis related mortality. By the other hand statins are significantly cheaper than other therapies that have been shown to improve outcome in sepsis, and the demonstration of mortality benefit would have enormous cost-benefit implication.
Show more