Inhibition of herpes simplex-1 virus replication by 25-hydroxycholesterol and 27-hydroxycholesterol

Valeria Cagno, Andrea Civra, Daniela Rossin, Simone Calfapietra, Claudio Caccia, Valerio Leoni, Nicholas Dorma, Fiorella Biasi, Giuseppe Poli, David Lembo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxysterols are known pleiotropic molecules whose antiviral action has been recently discovered. Here reported is the activity of a panel of oxysterols against HSV-1 with the identification of a new mechanism of action. A marked antiviral activity not only of 25HC but also of 27HC against HSV-1 was observed either if the oxysterols were added before or after infection, suggesting an activity unrelated to the viral entry inhibition as proposed by previous literature. Therefore, the relation between the pro-inflammatory activity of oxysterols and the activation of NF-kB and IL-6 induced by HSV-1 in the host cell was investigated. Indeed, cell pre-incubation with oxysterols further potentiated IL-6 production as induced by HSV-1 infection with a consequent boost of the interleukin's total cell secretion. Further, a direct antiviral effect of IL-6 administration to HSV-1 infected cells was demonstrated, disclosing an additional mechanism of antiviral action by both 25HC and 27HC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-527
Number of pages6
JournalRedox Biology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017


  • 25-hydroxycholesterol
  • 27-hydroxycholesterol
  • Herpes simplex-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Oxysterols
  • Viral inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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