In vivo and In vitro Studies of Opiates and Cellular Immunity in Narcotic Addicts

  • David M. Novick
  • Miriam Ochshorn
  • Mary Jeanne Kreek
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 288)


Abnormalities of humoral and cellular immunity had been observed in parenteral heroin abusers in studies performed before the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1,2). In the 1980s, HIV infection, with the resultant development of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), became one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in parenteral drug abusers (3–5). Due to the long latency period of HIV infection, the number of new cases of AIDS in parenteral drug abusers is expected to increase significantly during the first half of the 1990s. Since HIV infection causes profound impairments of cellular immunity, information on immunologic abnormalities which precede HIV infection in heroin addicts assumes great importance. Such abnormalities could possibly alter the susceptibility of these patients to HIV infection (6) or the rate of progression of HIV infection towards AIDS (7).


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Natural Killer Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Methadone Maintenance Treatment Methadone Maintenance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Novick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miriam Ochshorn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary Jeanne Kreek
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of GastroenterologyBeth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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