Statins as a novel therapeutic strategy in acute lung injury
Jacobson, Jeffrey R.
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Acute lung injury (ALI) is a devastating clinical condition associated with pulmonary and systemic inflammation and characterized by incompetence of the pulmonary microvascular barrier culminating in noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying endothelial barrier dysfunction in ALI has been facilitated by study of the effects of statins in relevant cellular and animals models. Many of the pleotropic properties of these drugs, including direct effects on endothelial cell (EC) cytoskeletal rearrangement, NADPH oxidase, and nitric oxide activity, as well as effects on differential EC gene expression, are relevant to the pathobiology of ALI and suggest a potential therapeutic role for statins in this context. Moreover, results from preclinical studies and observations in relevant patient populations support the protective potential of statins in ALI, paving the way now for definitive clinical trials.