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Statins Might Be Beneficial in Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Simvastatin and pravastatin inhibited neutrophil activation and prevented pregnancy loss in mice

THURSDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of statins reduced expression of tissue factor and protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) on neutrophils and prevented loss of pregnancy in mice, a finding that could be applicable to women with antiphospholipid syndrome, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Patricia Redecha, of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues write that roughly 40 percent of embryos died in wild-type mice treated with aPL-IgG (human IgG-containing antiphospholipid antibodies), but this increase wasn't seen in treated Par2-/- mice, suggesting that signaling through PAR2 is needed for aPL-induced pregnancy loss, the authors write.

Tissue factor is a key mediator in aPL-induced pregnancy loss, and statins reduce tissue factor expression; in this study, simvastatin prevented fetal loss in mice treated with aPL-IgG. The drug prevented neutrophil activation, oxidative damage to the placenta, and fetal death by inhibiting synthesis and expression of tissue factor and PAR2 resulting from aPL-IgG, the researchers report. Pravastatin also inhibited neutrophil activation and prevented aPL-IgG-induced pregnancy loss, the report indicates.

"We recognize that drugs should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the risks. Given the pleiotropic effects of statins related to many pathophysiological determinants of pregnancy loss in antiphospholipid syndrome and considering the beneficial effects of statins in our animal studies, we postulate that statins may be a good treatment for women with aPL-induced pregnancy complications. Moreover, preventing neutrophil activation by inhibiting TF/FVIIa/PAR2 signaling with statins may have important implications in many other inflammatory diseases," the authors conclude.

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