Cocaine injection and Coxsackievirus B3 infection increase heart disease during murine AIDS

R. T. Sepulveda, S. Jiang, J. Beischel, W. T. Bellamy, R. R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Coxsackievirus initiates myocarditis especially in the immunologically deficient or immature. To test whether Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) induced pronounced cardiomyopathy during severe immune dysfunction of murine AIDS, female C57BL/6 mice were infected with LP-BM5 retrovirus and superinfected with CVB3. Some were also injected daily with cocaine hydrochloride in 0.9% saline solution (30 mg/kg) intraperitoneally, because cocaine also suppresses cellular immune response. Heart tissue was analyzed histopathologically. Mice experiencing concurrent retrovirus and Coxsackievirus infection had a high degree of cardiac lesions consistent with myopathy compared with findings in uninfected animals (p <.05). Cocaine injection during murine retrovirus infection greatly exacerbated the pathogenesis of Coxsackievirus infection. C57BL/6 mice, essentially resistant to Coxsackievirus-induced cardiomyopathy, became susceptible during the immune dysfunction in murine AIDS. This suggests that retrovirus infection causes conditions favoring Coxsackie-induced cardiac lesions. Interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-4 expression by splenocytes from the dually infected retrovirus and Coxsackievirus group showed no significant differences when the animals were also cocaine treated. However tumor necrosis factor TNF-α production was significantly decreased in dually infected retrovirus + Coxsackievirus mice treated with cocaine, compared with findings in various controls (p <.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S19-S26
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000


  • Cocaine
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Heart disease
  • LP-BM5 murine leukemia
  • Murine AIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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