Public Release: 

Temple researchers explore effects of tobacco smoke, opiates on HIV patient tissue damage

Temple University Health System

(Philadelphia, PA) - At least a third of HIV-positive individuals in the United States are intravenous opiate abusers, and at least two-thirds are also tobacco abusers. Both opiates and tobacco smoke are known to either directly cause, or contribute to, tissue damage in the brain, lungs and other organ systems. Moreover, opiate abuse is known to promote the damage in the brain which is caused by infection with HIV. Thanks to new funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) will explore the effects of the combination of tobacco smoke and opiates on the tissue damage that occurs in many patients infected with HIV.

The research is the first to address the combination of both opiates and tobacco smoke on the pathology of HIV infection. It is also among the first studies to assess tobacco smoke's contribution to HIV-induced pathology in both the brain and the lungs. The research will be led by Yuri Persidsky, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at LKSOM, and Thomas Rogers, PhD, Director of the Center for Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Lung Research, Professor of Pharmacology and Associate Professor in the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at LKSOM.

The new award, which totals $3.25 million over five years, will enable the Temple Center for Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Lung Research (CILR) and the Department of Pathology at LKSOM to collaborate on this research. The team will utilize in vitro systems (primary human cells) and a 'humanized' mouse model of HIV-1 infection to analyze the effects of the combination of tobacco smoke and opiates on the tissue damage that commonly occurs with HIV infection.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DA040619. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About Temple Health

Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.6 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research. The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH), ranked among the "Best Hospitals" in the region by U.S. News & World Report; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Jeanes Hospital, a community-based hospital offering medical, surgical and emergency services; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. TUHS is affiliated with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM), established in 1901, is one of the nation's leading medical schools. Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 840 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Katz School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. News & World Report, LKSOM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Katz School of Medicine. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.

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