, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 1451-1458
Date: 15 May 2010

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor simvastatin suppresses Toll-like receptor 2 ligand-induced activation of nuclear factor kappa B by preventing RhoA activation in monocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients

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To investigate whether anti-inflammatory effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor simvastatin (SMV) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is mediated by Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2) signal via inhibiting activation of RhoA, a small Rho GTPase that plays an important role in inflammatory responses. Peripheral blood monocytes from active RA patients were treated with Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan (PG), a ligand of TLR-2, in the presence or absence of SMV. RhoA activity was assessed by a pull-down assay. DNA-binding activity was measured by a sensitive multi-well colorimetric assay. Cytokine secretion was measured by ELISA. PG stimulation increased the level of active GTP-bound RhoA compared with unstimulated monocytes, and the effect of PG on RhoA activity was suppressed with anti-TLR-2 monoclonal antibody. RhoA inhibition either with a specific inhibitor or by siRNA transfection inhibited activation of NF-κB and secretion of TNFα and IL-1β in PG-induced RA monocytes. SMV mitigated PG-induced increase in RhoA activity and NF-κB activation as well as secretion of TNFα and IL-1β. The inhibitory effects of SMV were completely reversed by mevalonate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. Our results indicate the modulation of RhoA on TLR-2-mediated inflammatory signaling in RA and provide a novel evidence for anti-inflammatory effects of statins through influencing TLR-2 signaling via RhoA in RA.

H. Lin, Y. Xiao and G. Chen contributed equally to this work.