Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows

Date:
March 9, 2011
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Lowering cholesterol could help the body's immune system fight viral infections, researchers have found. Scientists have shown a direct link between the workings of the immune system and cholesterol levels.

Lowering cholesterol could help the body's immune system fight viral infections, researchers have found. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have shown a direct link between the workings of the immune system and cholesterol levels.

Related Articles


"What we have discovered is that a key immune hormone stimulated upon infection can lower cholesterol levels and thereby deprive viral infections of the sustenance they need to grow," said Professor Peter Ghazal, Division of Pathway Medicine. "Drugs currently exist to lower cholesterol levels, but the next step would be to see if such drugs would also work to help bolster our immune systems."

Infection response

Researchers found that when the body succumbs to a viral infection a hormone in the immune system sends signals to blood cells. This causes cholesterol levels to be lowered.

Cholesterol produced by our cells is needed for viruses and certain bacteria to grow. Limiting our body's production of cholesterol would therefore curb the opportunity for viruses to thrive. Scientists say that it may be possible to use cholesterol lowering drugs that also boost the immune system.

Currently drugs such as antibiotics are used to fight infections by targeting the bug directly.

Further research

The researchers hope to find new ways to manipulate the body's immune system by targeting cholesterol metabolism. This could involve mimicking immune signals sent to lower the production of cholesterol.

Such treatment would help overcome the problems associated with antibiotic resistance. This is because it would seek to enhance the way the body responds to an infection, instead of focussing on attacking the bug itself

The research is published in the journal PLoS Biology.

The research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the British Heart Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mathieu Blanc, Wei Yuan Hsieh, Kevin A. Robertson, Steven Watterson, Guanghou Shui, Paul Lacaze, Mizanur Khondoker, Paul Dickinson, Garwin Sing, Sara Rodríguez-Martín, Peter Phelan, Thorsten Forster, Birgit Strobl, Matthias Müller, Rudolph Riemersma, Timothy Osborne, Markus R. Wenk, Ana Angulo, Peter Ghazal. Host Defense against Viral Infection Involves Interferon Mediated Down-Regulation of Sterol Biosynthesis. PLoS Biology, 2011; 9 (3): e1000598 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000598

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172940.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2011, March 9). Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172940.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172940.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) — A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins