Interleukin‐6 and Interleukin‐8 Production by Mononuclear Cells of Chronic Alcoholics During Treatment

Francisca Martinez, Nicole M. Thomas, Hamid Darban, Thomas J. Cox, Steve Wood, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Chronic alcohol consumption has been associated with suppression of a number of immune parameters. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between chronic alcohol ingestion and cessation with respect to release of interleukin‐6 (IL‐6) and interleukin‐8 (IL‐8) using highly specific and sensitive ELISA assays, as well as a functional assay, natural killer cell cytotoxic activity. ELISAs were developed to determine the amount of IL‐6 and IL‐8 release by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Two groups of subjects were recruited: young (18–22 years old), nonalcoholic users (controls) and long‐term alcoholics (35–55 years old). Blood samples were collected at time 0 from all subjects and from alcoholics 28 days after treatment had begun and alcohol use had ceased. Then mitogen‐stimulated release of cytokines by peripheral blood cells was determined. The abstaining controls, and the alcoholics, after 30 days of abstinence, tended to produce lower amounts of IL‐6 and IL‐8, although these differences were not statistically significant. Natural killer cell activity was not statistically different between the young groups, yet appeared to increase once alcohol use discontinued. Some of the cells from the controls (abstainers) were incubated with ethanol (EtOH). Its content in sealed wells was measured after the time of incubation of PBMCs. When EtOH was serially diluted in plates, some well‐well diffusion was noted, but the maximum concentration of EtOH never fell below 0.3% from an initial concentration of 0.5%, and at no time was the EtOH concentration gradient completely lost, even after 66 hr of incubation. EtOH in vitro did not induce significant modulation of IL‐6 or IL‐8 release from subjects over the concentration range of ethanol tested (0.02–0.5%). Similarly, there was no statistically significant dependence of baseline (non‐stimulated) release of IL‐6 or IL‐8 on the presence of EtOH in culture medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1197
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Cytokine
  • Human
  • Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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