Cholesterol, cytokines and diseases

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2011 Jul-Sep;24(3):567-81. doi: 10.1177/039463201102400303.


A high level of cholesterol is associated with obesity, cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis. Immune response in atherosclerosis is mediated by chemokines which attract monocytes, leading to the innate immune response characterised by the production of cytokines. The immunoregulatory cytokines are an important bridge between innate and adductive immunity. TH1 cytokines are involved as effector T cells in inflammatory response, while TH2 cytokines can be anti-inflammatory such as IL-10 and IL-4. It is well known that statins enhance the production of TH2 cytokines whereas the secretion of TH1 cytokines is suppressed. For this purpose, we studied the significance of anti-inflammatory effect and suppression of inflammation by statins. In this paper we revisited the role of cholesterol and cytokines IL-18, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-α, interferon-γ, and chemokines in inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol / physiology*
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Disease*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th1 Cells / physiology
  • Th2 Cells / drug effects
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Cholesterol