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Effect of a single ethanol exposure on HIV replication in human lymphocytes.
Cook RT; Stapleton JT; Ballas ZK; Klinzman D; Department of Pathology,
November 30, 1997
J Investig Med. 1997 Jun;45(5):265-71. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

BACKGROUND: Alcoholism is known to cause perturbations in cellular and humoral immunity, and some data suggest that acute alcohol ingestion enhances HIV replication in the lymphocytes of drinkers. METHODS: To study the acute effects of alcohol ingestion on HIV replication, oral ethanol (1 g/kg) was administered to 12 healthy volunteers in a controlled clinical setting. In vitro replication of HIV in the subjects' cultured lymphocytes and changes in lymphocyte phenotypes were evaluated. RESULTS: Statistically significant increases in peripheral lymphocytes and natural killer cell numbers were identified after the initial ethanol trial. HIV replication also increased in the isolated lymphocytes of some subjects after ethanol ingestion, but most subjects in the second trial showed essentially no changes in any of these parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Our results are consistent with either a subtle, study-induced stress-related enhancement in HIV replication or significant individual variation in response to ethanol. The results do not provide evidence for a general increase in HIV replication in the lymphocytes of subjects following a single in vivo ethanol dose of 1 g/kg.