The cholesterol pathway: impact on immunity and cancer

Ryan J. King, Pankaj K. Singh, Kamiya Mehla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Cholesterol is a multifaceted metabolite that is known to modulate processes in cancer, atherosclerosis, and autoimmunity. A common denominator between these diseases appears to be the immune system, in which many cholesterol-associated metabolites impact both adaptive and innate immunity. Many cancers display altered cholesterol metabolism, and recent studies demonstrate that manipulating systemic cholesterol metabolism may be useful in improving immunotherapy responses. However, cholesterol can have both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory roles in mammals, acting via multiple immune cell types, and depending on context. Gaining mechanistic insights into various cholesterol-related metabolites can improve our understanding of their functions and extensive effects on the immune system, and ideally will inform the design of future therapeutic strategies against cancer and/or other pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-92
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • LXR
  • cancer
  • cholesterol
  • immune
  • oxysterol
  • statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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