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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Alteration of T and null lymphocyte frequencies in the peripheral blood of human opiate addicts: in vivo evidence for opiate receptor sites on T lymphocytes.

Street opiate addiction produces a significant depression in the absolute number of total T lymphocytes in peripheral blood as measured by the ability of the lymphocytes to rosette sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Associated with the decrease in T cells, there is an increase in the absolute number of null lymphocytes but no significant changes in B lymphocytes or total white blood cell count. The T cell values for 2 different populations of addicts (n = 12 and 32) are 31.8% and 23.1%, whereas the null cell values are 51.1% and 57.6%, respectively. The values for comparable control populations (n = 18 and 10) are: T% = 70.7% and 67.4%, and null % = 9.2% and 14.5%. Self-reported use of marihuana does not significantly alter the distribution of cell populations. A 1- to 3-hr incubation of addicted-derived lymphocytes with 10(-6) to 10(-7) M Naloxone reverses both T cell depression and null cell increase by allowing the null cells to express SRBC receptors. Cyclic AMP and dibutyryl cyclic AMP can also convert the null cells to T cells. The conversion of null to T lymphocytes has additionally been measured by monitoring the increase in PHA-stimulated growth in 72-hr cultures as determined by tritiated thymidine incorporation into DNA. These results support the hypothesis that opiates can alter T lymphocyte number and function in vivo, and that this alteration may produce a significant degeneration in the immune competence of street opiate addicts.[1]

References

  1. Alteration of T and null lymphocyte frequencies in the peripheral blood of human opiate addicts: in vivo evidence for opiate receptor sites on T lymphocytes. McDonough, R.J., Madden, J.J., Falek, A., Shafer, D.A., Pline, M., Gordon, D., Bokos, P., Kuehnle, J.C., Mendelson, J. J. Immunol. (1980) [Pubmed]
 
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