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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1993;335:13-20.

Opioids, receptors, and immunity.

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Department of Pharmacology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140.


The results achieved by those seeking to determine whether opioids and other drugs of abuse can affect immunity are quite astonishing given the short period of time that research has focused on this area. Despite the fact that there is no longer any question that opioids produce a variety of effects on the immune system, the extent and significance of these changes in the drug-abusing population remains to be determined. Whether or not the findings in mice and in in vitro preparations can be extrapolated to man is not yet known. Of major significance is the question of whether the endogenous opioid system is involved in immunoregulation. Given the multitude of drugs taken by drug abusers and the varying patterns of drug administration, the significance of the findings in the literature is still an open question. However, it is only by continuing studies such as those discussed at this meeting that we will find the answers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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