The chapter describes immunobiological, immunopharmacological, and immuno electrophysiological techniques that are useful for in vitro reconstruction of the in vivo milieu associated with substance abuse. When studying the complexities involved with the in vivo effects of opiates and other substances of abuse such as cocaine and alcohol, it is important to realize that the initial site of interaction of the immune system with such substances and the products they induce within the neuroimmune system is the surface membrane of the immune cell. To simplify studies of the etiology of these interactions, the chapter has taken an in vitro, reductionistic approach aimed at determining the influence of opiates, other substances of abuse, and neuroimmune produces induced by these substances, on membrane-receptor and ion-channel phenomena. To further reduce the complexity of this task while maintaining the relevance of the studies to cell-mediated immune deficits encountered by substance abusers, the chapter targeted T cells for study.
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