Cellular immunology in HIV-1 positive African American women using alcohol and cocaine

Front Biosci. 2006 Sep 1:11:2434-41. doi: 10.2741/1981.


Co-use of illicit drugs, in particular cocaine and alcohol, is common among HIV-1(+) men and women of different ethnic groups. We compared cohorts of alcohol and cocaine co-users HIV-1(+) African American women and in cohorts of drug-free, or methamphetamine users HIV-1(+) men. We monitored clinical cellular immune parameters at repeated regular intervals. We found that significant inverse correlations between (CD8+)CD38+ cells and subpopulations of CD4+ cells distinguished by the expression of CD45RA in HIV-1(+) alcohol and cocaine co- users but not in drug-free HIV-1(+) patients. Following stratification for CD4+ cell number, we found the (CD4+)CD45RA+ subpopulation to be significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the drug user compared to drug-free HIV-1(+). Drug abuse may alter the change from the (CD4+)CD45RA+ to the (CD4+)CD45RA- phenotype selectively, which recovers in HIV-1+ methamphetamine abusers during treatment from baseline to 4-weeks, as manifested by improved IL-2 production in vitro. of TH1 and TH2 cytokines during progression to AIDS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Black or African American*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / immunology*
  • Female
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1