Aug 1, 1989

Ethanol: an enhancer of transplantation antigen expression

Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
D S SingerM A Kolber


Major histocompatibility antigens (MHC) play a pivotal role in the immune response. Abnormal expression of MHC antigens has been correlated with aberrant regulation of the immune response. Studies on the effect of ethanol on class I MHC antigens demonstrate that ethanol significantly enhances their cell surface expression in a variety of cell lines in vitro. These changes in cell surface levels reflect increased intracellular protein synthesis and increased steady state mRNA levels. The effective ethanol concentrations (0.1-1.0%) are physiologically attainable. Measurement of class I MHC antigens on peripheral blood lymphocytes in a population of acutely ethanol-intoxicated patients showed a highly significant increase relative to controls. The possibility that the elevated levels of MHC antigens induced by ethanol may play a role in the evolution of ethanol-related disease is discussed.

Mentioned in this Paper

Human Class I Antigens
Alcoholic Intoxication
Immune Response
Histocompatibility Antigens
Ethanol Measurement
Peripheral Blood
Lymphocytes as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Ovarian Neoplasm

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