Background/Aims: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by lung and airway inflammation, resulting in loss of lung function. Systemic inflammation is a feature of COPD contributing to many associated co-morbidities. Statins, omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) and lycopene have been shown to decrease systemic inflammation; this combination has not been studied previously. The aim of this study was to identify changes in systemic and airway inflammation induced by statins and/or DHA, EPA and lycopene in COPD.
Methods: COPD patients (n=11) received rosuvastatin (20mg/day) for 4 weeks, then a combination of rosuvastatin (20mg/day), DHA and EPA (1.5g/day) and lycomato (45mg/day) for 8 weeks. Blood and sputum were collected and lung function measured by spirometry at baseline, week 4 and 12. Plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and IL-6 were measured using ELISA; peripheral blood gene expression was measured using nCounter™ GX Human Inflammation Kit 2.
Results: Following interventions, clinical characteristics were unchanged. Plasma IL-6 and CRP were unchanged by intervention, sputum neutrophils were increased and macrophages decreased by rosuvastatin (P=0.020 and P=0.015; respectively). Rosuvastatin increased LTB4R and decreased CXCL10 and AGER blood gene expression. When lycopene and omega-3 fatty acids were added, LTB4R decreased and CXCL10 decreased to basal levels, whilst combined intervention increased ALOX15 blood gene expression.
Conclusion: This study shows rosuvastatin, omega-3 fatty acids and lycopene may have anti-inflammatory effects systemically, but rosuvastatin may increase airway neutrophils, which would be undesirable in COPD, warranting further investigation. Funding Source: National Health and Medical Research Council, Centre for Clinical Research Excellence.