Scientific reports

Lovastatin blocks Kv1.3 channel in human T cells: a new mechanism to explain its immunomodulatory properties.

PMID 26616555


Lovastatin is a member of Statins, which are beneficial in a lot of immunologic cardiovascular diseases and T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Kv1.3 channel plays important roles in the activation and proliferation of T cells, and have become attractive target for immune-related disorders. The present study was designed to examine the block effect of Lovastatin on Kv1.3 channel in human T cells, and to clarify its new immunomodulatory mechanism. We found that Lovastatin inhibited Kv1.3 currents in a concentration- and voltage-dependent manner, and the IC50 for peak, end of the pulse was 39.81 ± 5.11, 6.92 ± 0.95 μM, respectively. Lovastatin also accelerated the decay rate of current inactivation and negatively shifted the steady-state inactivation curves concentration-dependently, without affecting the activation curve. However, 30 μM Lovastatin had no apparent effect on KCa current in human T cells. Furthermore, Lovastatin inhibited Ca(2+) influx, T cell proliferation as well as IL-2 production. The activities of NFAT1 and NF-κB p65/50 were down-regulated by Lovastatin, too. At last, Mevalonate application only partially reversed the inhibition of Lovastatin on IL-2 secretion, and the siRNA against Kv1.3 also partially reduced this inhibitory effect of Lovastatin. In conclusion, Lovastatin can exert immunodulatory properties through the new mechanism of blocking Kv1.3 channel.