Statins could be used to control replication of some viruses, including HIV-1

Viral Immunol. 2005;18(3):474-89. doi: 10.1089/vim.2005.18.474.


Statins are mainly known for their plasma cholesterol-lowering properties and are widely used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. They however also exert pleiotropic effects through a variety of mechanisms, among which several immunosuppressive effects that are unrelated to their cholesterol-lowering activity. Interestingly, there has been recent evidence of antiviral effects, including preliminary studies on the efficacy of statins against HIV-1. This paper more particularly focuses on the specific inhibition of the binding of leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) to intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) by statins, independently of the inhibition of HMGCoA reductase. Targeting the statin-binding site within LFA-1 or regulating LFA-1 affinity by inhibiting prenylation of the small GTPases could prove useful to treat inflammatory, autoimmune diseases and possibly viral infections, including HIV-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Binding Sites / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / drug effects
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Cholesterol