Short-Term Treatment with Atorvastatin Selectively Decreases Lymphocyte Count
Recently, it was confirmed that statins have a pleiotropic activity, through demonstration of several effects of statins other than lipid lowering; some of good and some of bad. Far more recent studies confirmed immunosuppressive role of statins which might be helpful in certain autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and organ transplantation. However, different statins might have distinctive effect on immune system; thereby having different peripheral and cardiovascular action. The present study aimed to identify the role of short-term utilization of statin on leukocyte concentration as a representative in vivo marker for immunomodulation. To do so, two commonly used statins were included on the study- a hydrophilic (rosuvastatin) versus lipophilic (atorvastatin). A blood samples were withdrawn from the two statin groups (before and after therapy) and automated differential white blood cell count were performed to determine the difference between studied samples. The results confirmed that short-term use of atorvastatin, but not rosuvastatin, were associated with selectively reduction of lymphocyte count (p<0.0001) and this pattern has been noticed in each individual sample. The study concluded that lymphocyte levels were reduced significantly after short-term use of atorvastatin rather than rosuvastatin; an effect which might need to be considered in certain immunological disease associated with cardiac ones. Further studies required concerning other statins and an investigation at molecular levels need to be performed to clarify the mechanism behind this additional pleiotropic effects.
Keywords - Lymphocyte, Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, Statins, WBC.