Cholesterol in virus entry into host cell: diet, phytosterols and statins

Olimpio Montero


Cholesterol has been reported in a number of studies to play an essential role in the effectiveness of viral infection in mammal cells. The main characteristic of cholesterol that is involved in viral infection is its capability to afford negative curvature to the membrane. This faculty of cholesterol has to do with the necessary steep curvature that the host cell membrane undergoes in the primary processes of viral infection, namely virus entry mechanism and building up of the virus reproduction scaffold, in particular for RNA enveloped viruses. Low cholesterol diet has been shown to reduce or even suppress virus infection efficiency in murine models or cell cultures; but to what extent a diet-based lowering of the blood cholesterol level may help preventing virus infection lacks still of enough scientific evidence. The use of statins in individuals with hypercholesterolemia has been recommended in the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The possibility of using sterols from natural sources in the diet or in supplementary concentrates has been suggested to be an alternative to drop the circulating cholesterol. In this manuscript, the most relevant and recent bibliography on the aforementioned issues is reviewed.

Full Text: [Abstract] [Full Article]

DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v11i3.780


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