AIDS, alcohol, endothelium, and immunity

M. H. Witte, P. Borgs, D. L. Way, G. Ramirez, C. L. Witte, M. J. Bernas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Analogies are drawn between important unknowns in AIDS and alcohol research, related to underlying common pathogenetic mechanisms, immunodysregulation, cofactors, and prominent vascular manifestations. The central role of the blood and lymphatic vasculatures and specifically their endothelial lining in many facets of the immune response is reviewed. Evidence is presented that both alcohol and HIV (as well as other coinfecting viruses in AIDS) target and alter endothelial cells and the angiogenic process. These concepts are further illustrated by a serendipitous viral epidemic among rats on continuous long-term alcoholic and control nonalcoholic diets, where synergism between alcohol and virus appeared to underlie multiple vascular proliferative lesions in the liver. In AIDS and alcoholism/alcoholic liver disease (ALD), the prominent features of dysregulated angiogenesis point to the endothelium as a key player in pathogenesis of these seemingly disparate disorders and potentially in immunomodulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • AIDS
  • Alcohol
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cofactors
  • Endothelium
  • HIV
  • Immunity
  • Kaposi's sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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