Retinoids and Drugs of Abuse: Implications for Neurological Disease Risk in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection

Royal III, W.; Vlahov, D.; Lyles, C.; Gajewski, C. D.
December 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/15/2003 Supplement 5, Vol. 37, pS427
Academic Journal
Among injection drug users, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection may be associated with an increased risk of nervous system disease. For HIV-infected drug users with vitamin A deficiency, the overall risk of HIV-related morbidity and mortality may also be higher. In previous studies, levels of retinol, retinal-binding protein, and transthyretin in samples from such individuals were examined and found to be lower than such levels in seronegative control subjects. Also, in studies using an activated mononuclear cell line, all-trans retinoic acid and 9-cis retinoic acid suppressed production of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ. However, simultaneous exposure of the cells to morphine at a concentration similar to that to which drug users are exposed resulted in increased production of these cytokines. Therefore, morphine may alter the immunomodulatory effects of retinoids, thereby potentially affecting the clinical outcome of studies involving retinoid administration to HIV-infected drug users and increasing the risk for the development of HIV-related complications, including neurological disease.


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