Rheumatology International

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 1451–1458 | Cite as

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

  • Haobo Lin
  • Youjun Xiao
  • Guoqiang Chen
  • Di Fu
  • Yujin Ye
  • Liuqin Liang
  • Jinjin Fan
  • Xiuyan Yang
  • Lin Sun
  • Hanshi Xu
Original Article


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.


Statin Rho Toll-like receptor Inflammation Rheumatoid arthritis 



This work is supported in part by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. u0772001), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (No. 07001643) and Excellent Talent Program of the First Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, China.

Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haobo Lin
    • 1
  • Youjun Xiao
    • 1
  • Guoqiang Chen
    • 2
  • Di Fu
    • 1
  • Yujin Ye
    • 1
  • Liuqin Liang
    • 1
  • Jinjin Fan
    • 3
  • Xiuyan Yang
    • 1
  • Lin Sun
    • 4
  • Hanshi Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rheumatology, The First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhou, GuangdongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyFushan Hospital of Sun Yat-sen UniversityFushan, GuangdongPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhou, GuangdongPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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