Opioid-Mediated HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis

Shilpa Buch, Palsamy Periyasamy, Annadurai Thangaraj, Susmita Sil, Ernest T. Chivero, Ashutosh Tripathi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite the ability of combination antiretroviral therapy to dramatically suppress viremia, the brain continues to be a reservoir of HIV-1 low-level replication. Adding further complexity to this is the comorbidity of drug abuse with HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders and neuroHIV. Among several abused drugs, the use of opiates is highly prevalent in HIV-1 infected individuals, both as an abused drug as well as for pain management. Opioids and their receptors have attained notable attention owing to their ability to modulate immune functions, in turn, impacting disease progression. Various cell culture, animal and human studies have implicated the role of opioids and their receptors in modulating viral replication and virus-mediated pathology both positively and negatively. Further, the combinatorial effects of HIV-1/HIV-1 proteins and morphine have demonstrated activation of inflammatory signaling in the host system. Herein, we summarized the current knowledge on the role of opioids on peripheral immunopathogenesis, viral immunopathogenesis, epigenetic profiles of the host and viral genome, neuropathogenesis of SIV/SHIV-infected non-human primates, blood-brain-barrier, HIV-1 viral latency, and viral rebound. Overall, this review provides recent insights into the role of opioids in HIV-1 immunopathogenesis. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-642
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • HIV-1
  • Immunopathogenesis
  • Immunosuppression
  • Morphine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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