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Life Sci. 2001 Mar 16;68(17):1939-49.

Acute alcohol intoxication and endotoxemia desensitize HIV-1 gp120-induced CC-chemokine production by Kupffer cells.

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Department of Physiology and NIAAA-Sponsored Alcohol Research Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans 70112, USA.


Chemokines are involved in the inhibition of HIV-1 infection and in the pathogenesis of tissue injury in a number of conditions, including endotoxemia and alcoholic liver disease. CC chemotactic peptides (MIP-1alpha, MCP-1 and RANTES) are produced by a wide variety of cell types in response to immunological stimuli, bacterial endotoxin and gp120 from HIV-1 and HIV-2. This work tests the hypothesis that prior exposure to endotoxin and/or ethanol in vivo inhibits the production of CC-chemokines following a secondary challenge with HIV-1 gp120 in vitro. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received in intravenous infusion of ethanol to maintain blood ethanol level at 170 mg/dl for 3 hr. Escherichia coli LPS (1 mg/Kg) was given intravenously 5 min after the ethanol bolus was injected. Control groups received similar volumes of saline. Three hr after LPS treatment, Kupffer cells were obtained and treated with HIV-1 gp120 (5 microg/10(6) cells/24 hr). At the end of the incubation period, cells were obtained for RT-PCR analysis of CC-chemokine mRNA expression. Chemokine release in culture supernatants was measured by ELISA. Results show that in vivo ethanol was associated with downregulation of MIP-1alpha and MCP-1 mRNA expression and protein release in primary cultures of Kupffer cells. However, ethanol alone primed isolated Kupffer cells for enhanced RANTES mRNA and protein release in the presence or absence of HIV-1 gp120. These results demonstrate that acute ethanol intoxication and endotoxemia may selectively act as a desensitizing agent in response to a secondary challenge with bacterial or viral products.

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