Effect of morphine on lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-α production in vivo: Involvement of the sympathetic nervous system

Agnes Bencsics, Ilia J. Elenkov, E. Sylvester Vizi

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Morphine treatment modulates a variety of immunological parameters, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production by activated macrophages in vitro. The aim of our study was to clarify the effect of morphine on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced TNF-α production in vivo. Plasma TNF-α levels of mice were determined by ELISA. Subcutaneous injection of morphine decreased LPS-induced TNF-α production throughout the response, an effect that was dose-dependent and reversible by naloxone. Blockade of the sympathetic transmission by chlorisondamine prevented the inhibitory effect of morphine on TNF-α production. It is concluded that (i) systemic administration of morphine inhibits LPS-induced TNF-α production in vivo via 'classic' opioid receptors; (ii) this effect requires intact sympathetic outflow. Since the increased incidence of bacterial and viral infections in opioid addicts is well documented, it is suggested that the inhibitory effect of morphine on TNF-α production might play a substantial role in the increased vulnerability of these individuals to certain infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Volume73
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1997

Keywords

  • in vivo
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • morphine
  • neuroimmunomodulation
  • norepinephrine
  • opioid receptors
  • sympathetic nervous system
  • tumor necrosis factor alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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