Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Cocaine use may increase one's vulnerability to HIV infection, according to a new research report published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. In the report, scientists show that cocaine alters immune cells, called "quiescent CD4 T cells," to render them more susceptible to the virus, and at the same time, to allow for increased proliferation of the virus.
"We ultimately hope that our studies will provide a better understanding of how drugs of abuse impact how our body defends itself against disease," said Dimitrios N. Vatakis, Ph.D., the study's senior author and a scientist with UCLA's Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology and the UCLA AIDS Institute. "Such discovery can significantly improve the quality of life of drug users."
To make this discovery, scientists collected blood from healthy human donors and isolated quiescent CD4 T cells, and exposed them to cocaine and subsequently infected them with HIV. Following infection, researchers monitored the progression of HIV's life cycle and compared this progression against that of untreated cells. They found that cocaine rendered this subset of CD4 T cells susceptible to HIV, resulting in significant infection and new virus production.
"The co-epidemics of elicit drug use and infectious disease are well documented, though typically this connection is thought to occur through lifestyle choices and increased exposure," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "What often does not come to mind is that drugs such as cocaine may be helping to fuel infections in this high-risk population by altering the immune system. These new studies are an important advance documenting how cocaine use may increase a person's vulnerability to HIV and further highlighting the need for improved education for both HIV prevention and drug abstinence."
Sohn G. Kim, James B. Jung, Dhaval Dixit, Robert Rovner, Jr., Jerome A. Zack, Gayle C. Baldwin, and Dimitrios N. Vatakis. J Leukoc Biol, doi:10.1189/jlb.1112566, October 2013 94:835-843.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our HIV / AIDS category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental. "Cocaine increases susceptible to HIV." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2 Oct. 2013. Web.
11 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266835>
Federation of American Societies for Experimental. (2013, October 2). "Cocaine increases susceptible to HIV." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266835.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.