Altered Expression of HLA Antigens and CD16 Fc Receptors on Leukocytes of Alcoholic Subjects and Uremic Patients

Joe M. Jones, Richard L. Veech, Fatima Abbasi, Kai Yu, Olcay Yeralan, Gary R. Briefel, John Anderson, Esteban Mezey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The possible influences of ethanol and its metabolic product acetate on the surface expression of HLA class I and class II antigens and CD 16 Fc receptors were examined. Fluorescent‐labeled monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry were used to measure these antigens on leukocytes from reference controls, subjects admitted for alcohol detoxification, uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis using Cuprophan dialyzers and fluids containing 4 to 37 mm acetate, and uremic patients that were not hemodialyzed. In comparison to the controls, the mean intensity of staining for class I antigens was not changed significantly on lymphocytes or monocytes from alcoholics but was depressed on cells from eight of 12 uremic patients. Interferon‐γ above 5 units/ml was detected in less than 15% of plasma samples from controls, uremic patients or alcoholics on admission but was detected in four of eight samples from alcoholics at discharge (2‐4 days after admission). The intensity of staining for class II antigens was depressed by more than 50% on lymphocytes from alcoholics and uremic patients. The expression of HLA class I and class II antigens was depressed whether uremic patients were hemodialyzed or not. The percentage of lymphocytes expressing CD16 was depressed in three of seven alcoholics and five of seven hemodialyzed patients. In contrast, the percentage of monocytes expressing CD 16 was increased in six of seven hemodialyzed patients and three of five uremic patients not undergoing hemodialysis suggesting activation of monocytes in these patients. Plasma levels of beta 2‐microglobulin were elevated by 61% in alcoholics, 50‐fold in hemodialyzed patients, and 26‐fold in nonhemodialyzed uremic patients. Although alcoholics and hemodialyzed patients exhibited similar alterations in some of the parameters measured, the results did not indicate a significant role for acetate or hemodialysis with Cuprophan membranes in the alterations of membrane antigen expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-795
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • Acetate
  • Alcohol
  • CD 16
  • HLA
  • Hemodialysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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