LP-BM5 murine leukemia virus (MuLV) infection and cocaine administration are known to impair the murine immune system. We have developed a murine model to study the effect of daily cocaine administration and retrovirus infection on the lymphoid cell populations of the thymus. C57BL/6 female mice were studied following chronic cocaine administration for 11 weeks with simultaneous LPBM5 MuLV infection. Cocaine administration reduced body and thymus weight, significantly reduced the number of CD8+ cells in the thymus, and partially prevented thymus enlargement due to lymphoid cell proliferation induced by LP-BM5 MuLV infection. Retrovirus infection was associated with a decrease in the percentage and absolute number of Thy 1.2+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells in the thymus, an effect potentiated by cocaine administration. Therefore cocaine impairs thymic function by altering the number of cells expressing T cell differentiation markers in MAIDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine