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.
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Acknowledgements Special thanks to Dr. F. Abel Ponce de León for the partial support to accomplish this project. Thanks to Drs. Kara Theis and Jenny Cho for assistance in the laboratory, Dave Theis from Midwest Research Swine, Inc for the donation of research animals for this project. Michael Olin was supported by the National Institute of Health, National Research Service Award T32 DA07097 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Tuberculosis meningitis