The pleiotropic benefits of statins may result from their impact on vascular inflammation. The molecular process underlying this phenomenon is not fully elucidated. Here, RNA sequencing designed to investigate gene expression patterns following CD47-SIRPalpha inhibition identifies a link between statins, efferocytosis, and vascular inflammation. In vivo and in vitro studies provide evidence that statins augment programmed cell removal by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of NFkappaB1 p50 and suppressing the expression of the critical 'don't eat me' molecule, CD47. Statins amplify the phagocytic capacity of macrophages, and thus the anti-atherosclerotic effects of CD47-SIRPalpha blockade, in an additive manner. Analyses of clinical biobank specimens suggest a similar link between statins and CD47 expression in humans, highlighting the potential translational implications. Taken together, our findings identify efferocytosis and CD47 as pivotal mediators of statin pleiotropy. In turn, statins amplify the anti-atherosclerotic effects of pro-phagocytic therapies independently of any lipid-lowering effect.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s44161-022-00023-x
View details for PubMedID 35990913