Statin treatment has been shown to reduce graft-versus-host disease while preserving graft-versus-tumor effect in allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Herein, we investigated whether lovastatin treatment affects the function of human cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Upon T-cell receptor stimulation, lovastatin significantly inhibited the proliferation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from healthy donors whereas their intracellular cytokine production including interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α remained the same with a slight decrease of interleukin-2. Moreover, the specific lysis of target cells by CTL lines derived from patients and normal donors specific for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded antigen latent membrane protein-2 or cytomegalovirus-encoded antigen pp65 was uncompromised in the presence of lovastatin. In addition, we evaluated the effect of lovastatin on the proliferation and effector function of the CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) derived from melanoma patients specific for MART-1 antigen. Lovastatin significantly reduced the expansion of antigen-specific TILs upon MART-1 stimulation. However, the effector function of TILs, including the specific lysis of target cells and secretion of cytokine interferon-γ, remained intact with lovastatin treatment. Taken together, these data demonstrated that lovastatin inhibits the proliferation of Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and MART-1-specific CTLs without affecting cytolytic capacity. The differential effect of lovastatin on the proliferation versus cytoxicity of CTLs might shed some light on elucidating the possible mechanisms of graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-tumor effect elicited by alloimmune responses.
- cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs)
- tumorinfiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cancer Research