Alcohol, immunomodulation, and disease

Ronald R. Watson, Peter Borgs, Marlys Witte, Robert S. Mccuskey, Clark Lantz, Mary I. Johnson, Siraj I. Mufti, David L. Earnest

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Recent research findings point to a spectrum of alcohol-induced immune dysfunctions in animal models and humans. Use of alcohol in vivo causes abnormalities in the function and/or structure of a broad array of cells involved in humoral and cellular immunity, including lymphocytes, Kupffer cells and other macrophages, as well as the endothelium of blood vessels and lymphatics. Regulatory cytokines and neuroendocrine factors can mediate some of these immunomodulatory effects which may be further re-phased, exaggerated or unbalanced by other drugs of misuse. A variety of animal models is available to study acute and chronic alcoholism, non-alcohol drug misuse, AIDS as well as other opportunistic infecions, and neoplasias, which hold promise of clarifying the role of alcohol as an immunomodulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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