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Immunological and virological effects of opiate dependency in rhesus macaques: studies on SIV/SMM infection.


Symp Nonhum Primate Models AIDS. 1992 Nov 17-20;10:abstract no. 98.

A 2-1/2 year study was conducted to determine the effect of morphine on the immunological status of rhesus monkeys in the presence and absence of infection with the sooty mangabey strain of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV/SMM). Opiate dependency was maintained by injection of 3mg/kg morphine per monkey, every 6 hr. Controls received saline placebo. Opiates caused temporally variable alterations in all aspects of immune status examined: T-cell proliferative responses; NK-cell cytotoxicity; T, B and PMN cell trafficking; immunoglobulin production. However, tolerance to the variable immunological effects of opiates occurred at varying times during the study. Once tolerance developed, opiate-dependent animals placed under stress responded differently, immunologically, from controls, especially when subjected to opiate withdrawal which severely depressed immunoresponsiveness. Surprisingly, opiate-dependent animals seemed to be protected from the sequelae of SIV/SMM infection, except when subject to opiate-withdrawal. That is, latent SIV/SMM appeared to be activated by opiate withdrawal in virus-infected animals in which virus expression had entered a stage of persistent latency. Thus, these studies corroborate previous reports on the immunomodifying properties of opiates and extend them by showing that animals adapt to immunomodifying changes induced by opiates as pharmacological tolerance is established and that disruption of this adaptive state by stress, particularly the stress of opiate withdrawal, can be extremely disruptive in immunological and virological terms. Such data suggest that a well compensated heroin addict may be protected from the sequelae of AIDS while a destabilized addict may be very vulnerable to these sequelae. This conclusion suggests a practical need for drug replacement therapy to stabilize street heroin addicts. Such findings also have basic relevance for psychoneuroimmunology by suggesting that stress reduction may be a useful therapeutic goal to help reduce the sequelae of HIV-1 infection.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/COMPLICATIONS/IMMUNOLOGY Animal Antibody Formation B-Lymphocytes/*IMMUNOLOGY Cercocebus atys Cytotoxicity, Immunologic Disease Models, Animal Heroin Dependence/COMPLICATIONS/IMMUNOLOGY Human Killer Cells, Natural/IMMUNOLOGY Lymphocyte Transformation Macaca mulatta Morphine Dependence/COMPLICATIONS/*IMMUNOLOGY Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/COMPLICATIONS/ *IMMUNOLOGY *SIV T-Lymphocytes/*IMMUNOLOGY ABSTRACT


Information in this article was accurate in June 30, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.