Effect of methamphetamine on expression of HIV coreceptors and CC-chemokines by dendritic cells

Life Sci. 2011 May 23;88(21-22):987-94. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2010.09.019. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


The United States is currently experiencing an entangled epidemic of HIV infection and use of different drugs of abuse, especially of methamphetamine (Meth). Blood monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) are the first line of defense against HIV-1 infection, and are the initial target of HIV-1 infection in injection drug users. DC-SIGN present on dendritic cells is the first molecule that facilitates HIV-1 infection independent of CD4 or HIV coreceptors.

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether Meth acts as a cofactor in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection.

Main methods: Monocyte derived DCs, obtained from normal subjects were cultured with and without Meth±HIV-1B, followed by analyzing the gene and protein expression by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence-activated cell-sorting analyses, respectively.

Key findings: Our results show that Meth significantly enhances HIV infection, and downregulates the gene expression of chemokines and costimulatory molecules with reciprocal upregulation of HIV coreceptors and DC-SIGN by dendritic cells.

Significance: Better understanding of the role of Meth in HIV-1 disease susceptibility and the mechanism through which Meth mediates its effects on HIV-1 infection may help to devise novel therapeutic strategies against HIV-1 infection in Meth using HIV-1 infected population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / complications
  • Chemokines, CC / biosynthesis*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral / drug effects
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Receptors, HIV / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, HIV / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Chemokines, CC
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Receptors, HIV
  • gp120 protein, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • Methamphetamine