Lovastatin inhibits HIV-1 expression in H9 human T lymphocytes cultured in cholesterol-poor medium

Biomed Pharmacother. 1994;48(2):63-7. doi: 10.1016/0753-3322(94)90077-9.


The effects of the HMG-Coenzyme A reductase inhibitor lovastatin on HIV-1 expression and sterol synthesis have been investigated in the human H9 lymphocytic cell line. To this purpose, sterol synthesis from 14C-acetate, cell multiplication and reverse transcriptase activity have been measured in parallel at various times after cell infection by HIV-1. It was found that nine days after viral loading, lovastatin inhibited both sterol synthesis and viral multiplication as assessed by the reverse transcriptase activity. Since HIV infection has been shown to induce alterations in membrane cholesterol content, suggesting that the virus cycle may be partially dependent upon cellular cholesterol, inhibitors of cholesterol synthesis could be an interesting way of research in order to slower HIV propagation.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Culture Media / analysis
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • HIV-1 / metabolism*
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lovastatin / pharmacology*
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Sterols / biosynthesis
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocytes / microbiology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Culture Media
  • Sterols
  • Cholesterol
  • Lovastatin
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase