Opioid-mediated suppression of interferon-γ production by cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells

P. K. Peterson, Burt Sharp, G. Gekker, C. Brummitt, W. F. Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

147 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggest that opiate addiction and stress are associated with impaired cell-mediated immunity. We tested the hypothesis that morphine and the endogenous opioid β-endorphin (β-END), a pituitary peptide released in increased concentrations during stress, can suppress the production of the key macrophage-activating lymphokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) by cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC). Using a radioimmunoassay to measure IFN-γ, we found that exposure of PBMNC to biologically relevant concentrations of both opioids significantly inhibited IFN-γ generation by cells stimulated with concanavalin A and varicella zoster virus. Studies of the mechanism of suppression revealed (a) a classical opioid receptor is involved (suppression was antagonized by naloxone and was specific for the NH2 terminus of β-END), (b) monocytes are the primary target cell for opioids (monocyte-depleted lymphocyte preparations showed little suppression), and (c) reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) and prostaglandin E2 are important mediators (scavengers of ROI and indomethacin eliminated the suppression). Based on these findings we suggest that opioid-triggered release of inhibitory monocyte metabolites may play a role in the immunodeficiency associated with narcotic addiction and stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-831
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

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Interferons
Opioid Analgesics
Blood Cells
Opioid-Related Disorders
Monocytes
Oxygen
Endorphins
Human Herpesvirus 3
Lymphokines
Opioid Receptors
Naloxone
Concanavalin A
Dinoprostone
Cellular Immunity
Indomethacin
Morphine
Radioimmunoassay
Macrophages
Lymphocytes
Peptides

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Opioid-mediated suppression of interferon-γ production by cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells. / Peterson, P. K.; Sharp, Burt; Gekker, G.; Brummitt, C.; Keane, W. F.

In: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 80, No. 3, 01.01.1987, p. 824-831.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peterson, P. K. ; Sharp, Burt ; Gekker, G. ; Brummitt, C. ; Keane, W. F. / Opioid-mediated suppression of interferon-γ production by cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In: Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1987 ; Vol. 80, No. 3. pp. 824-831.
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