Monocytes, alcohol use, and altered immunity

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The immunomodulatory capacity of acute, moderate alcohol consumption was investigated in this study in nonalcoholic volunteers after 2 ml of vodka/kg body weight of alcohol consumption. There was a significant, transient increase in interleukin-12 and interferon-γ (IFNγ) levels in whole blood samples collected 4 hr after alcohol consumption in response to an ex vivo bacterial challenge with lipopolysaccharide (p < 0.02). However, decreased IFNγ levels were produced by mononuclear cells collected later after alcohol consumption (16 hr), suggesting that acute alcohol consumption has a biphasic effect on IFNγ inducibility. Furthermore, isolated blood monocytes collected 16 hr after alcohol consumption showed significantly decreased 1L-1β production in response to subsequent bacterial stimulation, implying that in vivo alcohol consumption affects monocyte-derived inflammatory cytokine production. These results demonstrate that even acute, moderate alcohol consumption has a modulating capacity on immune functions that may contribute to decreased immunity and host defense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216S-219S
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number5 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Alcohol
  • Cytokines
  • Endotoxin
  • Immunity
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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