Major histocompatibility antigens (MHC) play a pivotal role in the immune response. Abnormal expression of MHC antigens has been correlated with aberrant regulation of the immune response. Studies on the effect of ethanol on class I MHC antigens demonstrate that ethanol significantly enhances their cell surface expression in a variety of cell lines in vitro. These changes in cell surface levels reflect increased intracellular protein synthesis and increased steady state mRNA levels. The effective ethanol concentrations (0.1‐1.0%) are physiologically attainable. Measurement of class I MHC antigens on peripheral blood lymphocytes in a population of acutely ethanol‐intoxicated patients showed a highly significant increase relative to controls. The possibility that the elevated levels of MHC antigens induced by ethanol may play a role in the evolution of ethanol‐related disease is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-484
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethanol: An Enhancer of Transplantation Antigen Expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this