Morphine Effects on HTLV-I Infection in the Presence or Absence of Concurrent HIV-1 Infection

Nyland, Susan B.; Specter, Steven; Ugen, Kenneth E.
April 1999
DNA & Cell Biology;Apr99, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p285
Academic Journal
Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) infection is emerging as an important complication in HIV infection and AIDS in injecting drug users. HIV-1 and HTLV-I share a common host in CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, the result of HIV-1 infection is the decimation of this cell population, whereas a hallmark of HTLV-I infection is the inappropriate proliferation of infected cells. Combined epidemiologic data suggest that HTLV-I infection is enhanced during concurrent HIV-1/HTLV-I infection; however, there are currently no in vitro studies focusing on the effects of drugs of abuse on retrovirus coinfection. We have found that in an in vitro coinfection system (HIV-1 + HTLV-I), morphine treatment further enhanced the levels of HTLVI p19. In addition, indicators of in vitro infection by cell-free HIV-1 were reduced by morphine treatment in both single and dual in vitro infection experiments. Interleukin 2 levels in the affected cultures were found to increase with combined HTLV-I infection and morphine treatment. These in vitro results indicate the need to further explore the activity of HTLV-I within opiate-treated cells, as this oncoretrovirus appears to be especially sensitive to morphine-induced alterations to its host cell environment.


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