Dissident AIDS Database

Co-factorsRecreational drugsAlcoholLymphocytopenia
Immunomodulating properties of MDMA alone and in combination with alcohol: a pilot study.
 Pacifici R, Zuccaro P, Farre M, Pichini S, Di Carlo S, Roset PN, Ortuno J, Segura J, de la Torre R.
  "Cell-mediated immune response after the administration of MDMA alone and in combination with alcohol was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, cross-over pilot clinical trial conducted in four healthy MDMA consumers who received single oral doses of 75 mg MDMA (n = 2) or 100 mg MDMA (n = 2), alcohol (0.8 mg/kg), MDMA and alcohol, or placebo... Alcohol consumption produced a decrease in T helper cells, B lymphocytes, and PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation. Combined MDMA and alcohol produced the greatest suppressive effect on CD4 T-cell count and PHA-stimulated lymphoproliferation. Immune function was partially restored at 24 hours. These results provide the first evidence that recreational use of MDMA alone or in combination with alcohol alters the immunological status."
  Life Sci 1999;65(26):PL309-161999
Acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine alone and in combination with ethanol on the immune system in humans.
 Pacifici R, Zuccaro P, Hernandez Lopez C, Pichini S, Di Carlo S, Farre M, Roset PN, Ortuno J, Segura J, Torre RL.
  "Cell-mediated immune response and release of cytokines after the administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") alone and in combination with ethanol were assessed in a double blind, randomized, crossover, controlled clinical trial. Six healthy male recreational users of MDMA participated in four different experimental sessions, with a washout interval between sessions of 1 week, in which single oral doses of MDMA (100 mg), ethanol (0.8 g/kg), the combination of both drugs, and placebo were tested... Ethanol consumption produced a decrease in T-helper cells and B lymphocytes. The combination of MDMA and ethanol caused the highest suppressive effect on CD4 T cells and increasing effect in NK cells...."
  J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2001 Jan;296(1):207-152001
Alcohol use and T-lymphocyte subsets among injection drug users with HIV-1 infection: a prospective analysis.
 Crum RM, Galai N, Cohn S, Celentano DD, Vlahov D.
  "Alcohol use is known to alter immune function and has immunosuppressive effects that may modify T-lymphocyte subpopulations. However, there is no clear evidence regarding the relationship of alcohol use with the progression of immunodeficiency in human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1)-seropositive individuals, particularly injection drug users (IDUs). Using prospective data from a cohort of IDUs in a study of the natural history of HIV infection, we examined the relationship of alcohol use and changes in T-lymphocyte subsets. Among the 2921 IDUs followed semiannually in outpatient clinics, 188 were documented HIV-1 seroconverters with known time of seroconversion. At each visit, all study participants were interviewed, underwent physical examinations, and had blood drawn for laboratory studies. Alcohol use was measured by reported frequency and quantity of alcoholic beverages. Longitudinal analyses included data for up to 5 years postseroconversion. To formally test the association of alcohol use with change in levels of CD4+ and CD8+ cells subsequent to HIV seroconversion, regression models incorporating autocorrelation structure were applied... between 2 to 5 years postseroconversion, there was a statistically significant increase among the heaviest drinkers: CD8% increased 6.9%/year [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.7, 8.0] for the IDUs who reported > 21 drinks/week, 2.4%/year (95% CI: 0.8, 4.0) for IDUs who drank 21 drinks/week or less, and 0.4% (95% CI: -2.1, 2.9) for abstainers. Similar results were obtained for CD4 and CD8 absolute counts..."
  Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1996 Apr;20(2):364-711996
Immunodeficiency associated with ethanol abuse.
 Jerrells TR.
  "A number of study findings have shown that ETOH has a profound effect on the immune system... It is well established that ingestion of ETOH-containing diets results in a loss of lymphoid cells from the peripheral blood, spleen, and thymus. Some of the cell loss from the thymus is the result of corticosteroid release as a result of the withdrawal from ETOH, but the loss from the spleen and some of the thymocyte loss is independent of corticosteroids, as demonstrated by studies using ADX mice and rats. We have also established that ETOH ingestion is associated with a loss of lymphocyte function, especially T-cell-dependent immune responses. One aspect of the T-cell defect is an inability to use IL-2, an important growth factor for T cells. Similar changes in lymphocyte function have been demonstrated in animals exposed to ETOH only in utero. The inability of a person to respond immunologically in an appropriate fashion to foreign antigens has a profound effect on the survival of the person. It would be predicted that ETOH-associated immunosuppression would result in increased incidences of infections. From the data generated from my laboratory it could also be predicted that these infections would be primarily opportunistic infections that are associated with defects in T-cell function."
  Adv Exp Med Biol 1991;288:229-361991