Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 246–253 | Cite as

Activated CD-8 cells and HLA DR expression in alcoholics without overt liver disease

  • Robert T. Cook
  • Michael J. Garvey
  • Brenda M. Booth
  • James A. Goeken
  • Barbara Stewart
  • Mary Noel
Original Articles


Lymphocytes from alcoholics without liver disease were immunophenotyped by flow cytometry immediately after admission for detoxication and again after 4 to 10 days of abstinence. We found a small but significant elevation of T lymphocytes at admission compared to controls and decreases in the numbers of B cells and natural killer cells in many patients. A significant elevation of activated T cells was confirmed. The ratio of activated T cells to activated non-T cells was also substantially increased, but declined slightly during early withdrawal. The increase in activated T cells was due mostly to increased numbers of activated CD8hi cells. These activation changes did not revert toward normal as quickly as the other changes and may represent an indication of immune damage at a preclinical stage. An additional finding of interest was a substantial decrease in the expression of HLA DR on CD4+ and non-T cells. The significance of this decrease is not known, but we speculate that it may result in a decline in the efficiency of antigen presentation.

Key words

Alcoholism activated CD8 cells HLA DR expression 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Cook
    • 1
  • Michael J. Garvey
    • 2
  • Brenda M. Booth
    • 3
  • James A. Goeken
    • 1
  • Barbara Stewart
    • 1
  • Mary Noel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyDepartment of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of IowaIowa City
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryDepartment of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of IowaIowa City
  3. 3.Health Services Research and Development SectionDepartment of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of IowaIowa City

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