Microglia, the macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), are both the principle target cells for Mycobacterium infection in the CNS and serve a critical role in defense of the brain. If microglia's functions are altered due to immunosuppressive agents such as opiates, perturbation in defense of the brain may occur, including defense against CNS Tuberculosis. This study was designed to determine if Mycobacterium infected microglia activate γδT lymphocytes and if the opiate morphine alters the capability of microglia to activate γδT lymphocytes. γδT lymphocytes proliferated, produced IFN-γ, and demonstrated cytolytic response upon exposure to Mycobacterium bovis infected microglia. IFN-γ, and antigen specific cytotoxicity were both markedly impaired due to morphine treatment.
- Tuberculosis meningitis