Dissident AIDS Database

Co-factorsRecreational drugsCocaineImmuno-deficiency
Cocaine Enhances Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication in a Model of Severe Combined Immunodeficient Mice Implanted with Human Peripheral Blood Leukocytes.
 Roth MD et al.
  “Of the 1911 subjects [attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic] who denied having high-risk behaviors (male homosexuality, intravenous drug use, or sexual contact with high-risk persons), crack cocaine and HIV infection were associated with an odds ratio of 10.6:1 for women and 3.3:1 for men. This relationship is supported by other epidemiologic studies and by reports suggesting that cocaine depresses the immune system both in vivo and in vitro”
  J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar 1;185:701-5.2002
Acute and chronic effects of cocaine on the immune system and the possible link to AIDS.
 Baldwin GC, Roth MD, Tashkin DP.
  “The exact mechanisms by which cocaine facilitates this disease [AIDS] are yet to be proven, but likely include a combination of increased risk due to cocaine-related social behaviours, a wide-ranging capacity for cocaine to suppress the immune system, and an effect of cocaine on the infectivity and replication of HIV.”
  J Neuroimmunol. 1998 Mar 15;83(1-2):133-8.1998
Cocaine down-regulates IL-2-induced peripheral blood lymphocyte IL-8 and IFN-gamma production.
 Mao JT et al.
  “In the present study, we evaluated the capacity of cocaine to modify lymphocyte [white blood cells important in the immune system] cytokine production. Cocaine abrogated the IL[Inter-Leukin]-2-stimulated production of IFN-gamma and IL-8 by PBL [peripheral blood lymphocytes]…Both IL-8 and IFN-gamma are important mediators of the inflammatory response. A decrement in production of these cytokines by activated lymphocytes may significantly limit immune responses at multiple levels, resulting in an increased susceptibility to infection and malignancy.”
  Cell Immunol. 1996 Sep 15;172(2):217-23.1996
Effects of cocaine on the immune system of Balb/C mice.
 Ou DW, Shen ML, Luo YD.
  “Our experiments show that cocaine has a general suppressive effect on the mouse immune system…Injections of 5 mg/kg of cocaine 24hr before assay suppressed the number of thymocytes but the effect was not observed 48, 72, and 96 hr after injections. However, at higher doses, the suppressive effects on thymocytes were not entirely recovered 96 hr after injection…The size of two different tumors appeared to increase in cocaine-treated mice”
  Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1989 Aug;52(2):305-12.1989
Suppression of macrophage reactive intermediates by cocaine.
 Shen HM et al.
  “ROI [Reactive Oxygen Intermediates] and RNI [Reactive Nitrogen Intermediates] are highly reactive molecules, which kill most ingested extracellular or intracellular microbes. Thus both products provide strong protection from pathogens…we treated macrophages with different concentrations of cocaine for 45, 90 and 150 min. intervals. The results show that cocaine could inhibit the production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide…This inhibition was correlated with the rate of ROI production”
  Int J Immunopharmacol. 1995 May;17(5):419-23.1995
Marijuana and cocaine impair alveolar macrophage function and cytokine production.
 Baldwin GC et al.
  “Use of marijuana and cocaine is on the rise in the United States. Although pulmonary toxicity from these drugs has occasionally been reported, little is known about their effects on the lung microenvironment. We evaluated the function of alveolar macrophages (AMs) recovered from the lungs of nonsmokers and habitual smokers of either tobacco, marijuana, or crack cocaine…These findings indicate that habitual exposure of the lung to either marijuana or cocaine impairs the function and/or cytokine production of AMs. The ultimate outcome of these effects may be an enhanced susceptibility to infectious disease, cancer, and AIDS.”
  Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997 Nov;156(5):1606-13.1997
Entangled epidemics: cocaine use and HIV disease.
 Larrat, P. E. and Zierler, S.
  Over the past decade, two epidemics have had a severe impact on public health in this country. These health problems involve cocaine abuse and AIDS (or HIV disease). The processes of these two conditions are clearly not independent of each other and may be quite complex. Understanding of this relationship has been hampered by a myriad of social, biological and behavioral variables that are entangled with the basic cocaine-HIV association. This article presents a paradigm for discussion of the interaction between cocaine exposure and HIV disease based on three mechanisms: the relationship between cocaine exposure and increased opportunity for HIV exposure, the direct role that cocaine plays in altering susceptibility to HIV infection, and the influence that cocaine use has on the progression of HIV disease. The goal of this structured approach is to enhance conceptual understanding of the cocaine-HIV relationship while recognizing the complexity of the issue and the limitations of current research efforts. This model will serve as a framework for the discussion of implications for future research, clinical practice, and public policy.
  J Psychoactive drugs 25: 207-221, 19931993