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J Asthma Allergy. 2010 Jul 16;3:57-63.

Controversial data on simvastatin in asthma: What about the rat model?

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Institute of Functional and Applied Anatomy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover.


The effects of simvastatin on lung inflammation in asthma are controversial. Reduction of inflammation and hyperreactivity has been reported in studies using murine models of asthma. In contrast, a clinical study has not found beneficial effects in patients. The rat model of asthma has some distinct advantages and is still widely used in industrial studies. Therefore, the role of simvastatin was investigated in this rat model using intraperitoneal and intratracheal administration. With both simvastatin administration routes, the relative and absolute numbers of neutrophils, eosinophils, and lymphocytes were only partially reduced after increasing dosages (0.1, 1.0, and 10 mg per animal). The most obvious effect was on CD4 T cell numbers, which were reduced in most treatment groups. The results presented here suggest that treatment with simvastatin differs between species, and that it is too early for extrapolation of these data to humans.


asthma; inflammation; rat; simvastatin

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