Simvastatin enhances immune responses to Aβ vaccination and attenuates vaccination-induced behavioral alterations

Jinghong Kou, Hong Duck Kim, Jingji Jin, Dongfeng Cao, Ling Li, Robert Lalonde, Ken Ichiro Fukuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Statins are widely used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis. Some evidence has indicated that statins might have therapeutic and preventive benefits for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We and others also have shown the beneficial effect of statin treatment in reversing learning and memory deficits in animal models of AD. However, data from clinical trials are inconclusive. We previously documented that the adenovirus vector encoding 11 tandem repeats of Aβ1-6 fused to the receptor-binding domain (Ia) of Pseudomonas exotoxin A, AdPEDI-(Aβ1-6)11, is effective in inducing an immune response against amyloid-β protein (Aβ) and reducing brain Aβ load in Alzheimer's mouse models. In the present study, we examined whether the administration of simvastatin can modulate immune and behavioral responses of C57BL/6 mice to vaccination. Simvastatin was given to the animals as a diet admixture for four weeks, followed by nasal vaccination with AdPEDI-(Aβ1-6)11 once per week for four weeks. The cholesterol-lowering action of simvastatin was monitored by measuring the cholesterol levels in plasma. Simvastatin significantly increased the number of the mice responding to vaccination compared with the mice receiving only AdPEDI-(Aβ1-6)11. Immunoglobulin isotyping revealed that the vaccination predominantly induced Th2 immune responses. Simvastatin treatment prevented Aβ-induced production of IFN-γ in splenocytes. The adenovirus vaccination altered mouse behavior in T- and elevated plus-maze tests and simvastatin counteracted such behavioral changes. Our results indicate that simvastatin clearly enhances the immune responses of C57BL/6 mice to the nasal vaccination with AdPEDI-(Aβ1-6)11. Simvastatin may be effective in preventing behavioral changes associated with vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Oct 14 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jamaal A. Rehman for his excellent technical support and Linda Walter for assistance in preparation of this manuscript. This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health ( AG031846 , AG031979 , AG029818 and EY018478 ) and the Alzheimer's Association ( IIRG-07-59494 and NIRG-06-27725 ).


  • Adenovirus
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Anxiety
  • Sickness behavior
  • Statins


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