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Niveles de citoquinas en suero de adictos a herona bajo consumo activo o en terapia de mantenimiento con metadona y controles sanos en Pereira (Colombia)

Carlos Alberto Isaza, Juan Carlos Seplveda Arias, Juan Pablo Vlez, Sandra Yolanda Valencia, Juan Camilo Restrepo

Journal Title:Investigaciones ANDINA

Introduction: methadone constitutes the standard therapy for the management of heroin addiction. During the rehabilitation, patients improve their health status and seem to become immunocompetent, a fact attributed to the decrease in risk practices, better nutrition and the cessation of heroin consumption, whose immunosuppressive effects are known. However, since methadone is also a glutamate antagonist, it might have an additional immunostimulant activity. Aim: to compare serum levels of the cytokines TNF-?, IFN-? and IL-10 between heroin addicts under active consumption (CA=32), addicts under methadone maintenance therapy (Met=20) and healthy controls without history of addiction (Cont=20). Materials and methods: seventy two individuals from both sexes, under 18 yearsold, without any recent infection or a positive HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C test, were included in the study. None of the subjects were taking drugs with effects on the immune system. Results: there were no differences between the groups in terms of gender (91,7 % men), age (25,2 8 years) and time of heroin abuse (5,3 2,9 years). All the addicts reported the use of other illicit drugs such as marijuana (96%), cocaine/bazuco (79%) and other psychoactive drugs (52%). In the Met group, none of the individuals reported the use of cocaine/bazuco but most of them kept on consuming marijuana. Significant differences in the TNF-? (p=0.0004), IFN-? (p=0.014) and IL-10 (p=0.0001) levels between the studied groups were found; these differences persist when we compared addicts and control individuals. Conclusion: a differential pattern of cytokine production in the sera of addicts and healthy individuals was found, however, a clear pattern of immune response induced by the methadone treatment could not be determined.