There are very few studies that examine the effects that morphine withdrawal has on immune functioning, and of these even fewer describe the mechanisms by which withdrawal brings about these changes. Our previous work demonstrated that morphine withdrawal contributed to Th cell differentiation by biasing cells toward the Th2 lineage. A major finding from these studies was that IL-12 was decreased following withdrawal, and it was concluded that this decrease may be a mechanism by which morphine withdrawal is mediating Th2 polarization. Therefore, it was the aim of the current studies to develop an in vitro model to examine the process of morphine withdrawal and to understand the signaling mechanisms that withdrawal may use to effect IL-12 production through the use of this model. It was demonstrated and concluded that morphine withdrawal may be effecting IL-12 production by increasing cAMP levels, which activates protein kinase A. Protein kinase A activation then prevents the phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of IκB, which in turn prevents translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit to the nucleus to transactivate the IL-12 p40 gene, ultimately resulting in decreased IL-12 production following LPS stimulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy