Dissident AIDS Database

NIAID paper : HIV causes AIDSDeveloped countriesDrug-AIDS connectionMice studies (nitrites)
 Lauritsen John
  When the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, poppers were high on the list of etiological suspects. Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rather than following its usual practice of reporting AIDS information supplied by other researchers and institutes, hastened to exonerate poppers as it conducted a brief mice study in 1982-1983, and claimed to find "no evidence of immunotoxicity" (MMWR news item, 9 September 1983). The study was apparently published in a hurry because "...detailed histologic examinations have not been completed." These results are contradicted by several other studies, which was explained at the Gaithersburg meeting (sponsored by he National Institute on Drug Abuse "Technical Review: Nitrite Inhalants", held outside Washington, DC on the 23rd and 24th of May, 1994) by one of the investigators, Daniel Lewis... The CDC's mice study was cited in a press release sent out by Joseph F. Miller, President of Great Lakes Products, the world's largest manufacturer of poppers which claimed that "Jim" Curran of CDC's AIDS Branch had assured him there was no relationship between poppers and AIDS. Curran responded with a letter saying that he had been misinterpreted, and that poppers may play a role as cofactor in some of the illnesses in the syndrome. Lewis explained that, in determining the dose, they had to adjust it below the level where they were "losing" the mice- however, the supplier of the mice later disclosed that the mice were suffering from a low-grade infection. This means that the deaths of the exposed mice may well have been due to immunotoxicity-exactly what the study conclusions claimed not to find-rather than to the acute toxicity of the nitrite fumes. The end result was that the dose was far too low to be meaningful. The study was not blinded, as the mice inhaling IBN vapors developed a "yellowish tinge". Although there were no significant changes in body weight, there were reduced liver and thymus weights, and an increase in spleen weights. 100% of the exposed mice developed methemoglobinemia. The white cell count went down sharply. In the question period I stated that other mice studies had found that nitrite inhalation caused immune suppression in mice. How did Lewis explain the discrepancy between his findings and the others? His answer was short and sweet: "Dosage and length of exposure". The second mice study was presented by Lee Soderberg, of the University of Arkansas. His mice inhaled 900 ppm nitrite fumes for 45 minutes daily for 14 days, then were allowed to rest for 1-3 days. Then tests were performed. They found that there were decreases in both body and spleen weight, the cells in the spleen and in the blood were reduced, the T-dependent cells were very sharply reduced, accessory cell function was affected (there was reduced ability to support proliferation of normal T-cells), the macrophage functions were greatly reduced (especially tumoricidal activity).
  New York Native 13 June 19941994