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Authors Yi T, Rao DA, Tang PC, Wang Y, Cuchara LA, Bothwell AL, Colangelo CM, Tellides G, Pober JS, Lorber MI
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Journal Transplantation Volume: 86 Issue: 5 Pages: 719-27
Publish Date 2008 Sep 15
PubMed ID 18791454
PMC ID 2650813

Graft arteriosclerosis (GA) is an important factor limiting long-term outcomes after organ transplantation. We have used a chimeric humanized mouse system to model this arteriopathy in human vessels, and found that the morphologic and functional changes of experimental GA are interferon (IFN)-gamma dependent. This study evaluated whether 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, described as inhibitors of IFN-gamma production, affect GA in our model.C.B.-17 severe combined immunodeficiency-beige mice were transplanted with human artery segments as aortic interposition grafts and inoculated with allogeneic human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or replication-deficient adenovirus encoding human IFN-gamma. Transplant arteries were analyzed from recipients treated with vehicle vs. atorvastatin or simvastatin at different doses. The effects of statins on T-cell alloresponses to vascular endothelial cells were also investigated in vitro.Graft arteriosclerosis-like arteriopathy induced by PBMCs was reduced by atorvastatin at 30 mg/kg/day or simvastatin at 100 mg/kg/day that correlated with decreased graft-infiltrating CD3+ T cells. Circulating IFN-gamma was also reduced, as were graft IFN-gamma and IFN-gamma-inducible chemokine transcripts and graft human leukocyte antigen-DR expression. Graft arteriosclerosis directly induced by human IFN-gamma in the absence of human PBMCs was also reduced by atorvastatin, but only at the highest dose of 100 mg/kg/day. Finally, atorvastatin decreased the clonal expansion and production of interleukin-2, but not IFN-gamma, by human CD4+ T cells in response to allogeneic endothelial cells in coculture.Our results suggest that a benefit of statin administration in transplantation may include amelioration of GA primarily by inhibiting alloreactive T-cell accumulation and consequent IFN-gamma production and secondarily through suppression of the arterial response to IFN-gamma.

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