Elevated serum levels of IgG are amongst the immunological abnormalities exhibited by intravenous drug addicts. We therefore addressed the hypothesis that cocaine and morphine (the major metabolite of heroin) exert a direct effect on human B cell function in vitro. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal individuals were incubated for 7 days with the T cell-dependent B cell activator pokeweed mitogen (PWM) and serial dilutions of either cocaine or morphine. At the end of this time total IgG was measured by use of a sandwich ELISA incorporating a biotin-labelled affinity-purified anti-IgG and streptavidin peroxidase. At concentrations relevant to those found in plasma, morphine and cocaine did not affect PWM-stimulated IgG synthesis in vitro. We suggest that these drugs of abuse do not directly influence human B cells, but in vivo exert immune modulatory effects via indirect mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)