American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Neuroendocrine Abnormalities in Drug Abusers and HIV-Infected Individuals: Cortisol Response to Cold Pressor Challenge

Mahendra Kumar, Drenna Waldrop-Valverde, Adarsh M. Kumar, J. B. Fernandez, Louis Gonzalez and Raymond L. Ownby

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2006.136.140

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 2, Issue 3

Pages 136-140

Abstract

Although endocrine abnormalities have been reported in HIV-1 infection, the role of risk factors is not understood. Injecting drug use (IDU) is an important risk factor for contracting HIV-infection and studies suggest that substance use may also be associated with endocrine dysfunction. In order to investigate hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activity in this population, this study investigated cortisol response to the cold pressor challenge in IDUs with and without HIV infection. After controlling for the effects of gender, duration of marijuana use and time since the last use of heroin, the findings show that the pattern of cortisol response depended upon HIV serostatus. Cortisol levels peaked later in HIV+ IDUs and recovered at a slower rate than HIV negative IDUs. These findings support our hypothesis that dysregulation in HPA axis activity occurs in HIV infected IDUs.

Copyright

© 2006 Mahendra Kumar, Drenna Waldrop-Valverde, Adarsh M. Kumar, J. B. Fernandez, Louis Gonzalez and Raymond L. Ownby. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.