New research suggests that treatment with the cholesterol drug simvastatin significantly reduces lung damage resulting from severe abdominal sepsis and infection.
“We hope that this study will not only provide new knowledge about the complicated pathophysiology behind abdominal sepsis, but also form the basis for more effective and specific treatment options for patients with severe infections,” said Henrik Thorlacius, a researcher involved in the workfrom the Department of Surgery at Skane University Hospital at Lund University, Malmo, Sweden.
To make this discovery, the researchers studied mice with a punctured intestinal bowel and treated half with a statin drug, simvastatin, and the others with only water.
The animals treated with simvastatin had much less lung injury than those only given water. Additionally, the simvastatin-treated group demonstrated significantly fewer inflammatory cells in the lung, as well as reduced levels of pro-inflammatory substances.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.