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Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Feb;15(2):104-16. doi: 10.1038/nri3793.

Cholesterol, inflammation and innate immunity.

Author information

1
Division of Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, New York 10032, USA.
2
University of Nice, Unité Mixte de Recherce (UMR), Institut national de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1065, 062104 Nice Cedex 3, France.

Abstract

Hypercholesterolaemia leads to cholesterol accumulation in macrophages and other immune cells, which promotes inflammatory responses, including augmentation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling, inflammasome activation, and the production of monocytes and neutrophils in the bone marrow and spleen. On a cellular level, activation of TLR signalling leads to decreased cholesterol efflux, which results in further cholesterol accumulation and the amplification of inflammatory responses. Although cholesterol accumulation through the promotion of inflammatory responses probably has beneficial effects in the response to infections, it worsens diseases that are associated with chronic metabolic inflammation, including atherosclerosis and obesity. Therapeutic interventions such as increased production or infusion of high-density lipoproteins may sever the links between cholesterol accumulation and inflammation, and have beneficial effects in patients with metabolic diseases.

PMID:
25614320
PMCID:
PMC4669071
DOI:
10.1038/nri3793
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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