Infections: as the associations are incompletely understood, we have selected and summarized an article in the scientific literature
- Ness KJ, Fan J, Wilke WW, Coleman RA, Cook RT, Schlueter AJ. Chronic ethanol consumption decreases murine Langerhans cell numbers and delays migration of Langerhans cells as well as dermal dendritic cells. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Apr;32(4):657-68. Epub 2008 Jan 28
- Dendritic cells (DC) migrate from peripheral locations to lymph nodes (LN) to initiate adaptive immunity against infection. Langerhans cells are dendritic cells residing in the epidermis and are important to guard against infective organisms.
- Mice were given 20% ethanol for 35 weeks and then were terminated.
- Chronic ethanol consumption caused a baseline reduction in Langerhans cells (LC) but not dermal DC numbers.
- Chronic ethanol consumption causes decreased density of epidermal LC, which likely results in decreased epidermal immunosurveillance. Decreased LC density at baseline appears to be the result of an alteration in the skin environment rather than an intrinsic LC defect. This could explain why chronic alcoholics are more susceptible to infections.
Source of information: here