Our previous studies have shown two distinct disease patterns (rapid and normal onset of clinical symptoms) in morphine-dependent SHIV/SIV-inoculated rhesus macaques. We have also shown that control as well as 50% of morphine-dependent macaques (normal progressor) developed humoral and cellular immune responses whereas the other half of the morphine-dependent macaques (rapid progressor) did not develop antiviral immune responses after infection with SIV/SHIV. In the present study, we analyzed the association between cytokine production, immune response, and disease progression. To study the immunological effects of morphine at cytokine levels in the context of a lentiviral infection, we inoculated rhesus macaques with a mixture of SHIV KU-18, SHIV89.6P, and SIV/17E-Fr. These animals were followed for a period of 56 weeks for cytokine level production in plasma. Drug-dependent rapid disease progressors exhibited an increase in IL-18 and IL-1Ra and a decrease in IL-12 levels in the plasma. Morphine-dependent normal progressors and control macaques exhibited an increase in both IL-18 and IL-12, whereas IL-Ra levels remained constant throughout the observation period. These results suggest that rapid disease progression in relation to morphine dependency may be the result of an altered cytokine profile.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases