Opioid Receptor Antagonist-Mediated Signaling in the Immune System

  • Jonathan Moorman
  • Zhi Qiang Yao
  • Edward J. Bilsky
  • Deling Yin
Part of the Contemporary Neuroscience book series (CNEURO)


An increased susceptibility to infectious diseases in the setting of opiate use has long been noted. Studies on the specific roles of opiates in immune cells using opioid agonists and antagonists reveal a broad array of effects that include altered T and B cell proliferation, antibody production, natural killer cell activity, and cytokine production. The complexity of these effects in the setting of multiple opioid receptor subtypes has only recently been recognized. Novel, receptor-specific opioid antagonists permit more robust studies on the protean effects of these agents on immune cells. This chapter will emphasize what is known about the biologic and clinical effects of opioids on immune function with a focus on the role of opioid antagonists.


Opioids Immunity Antagonists Lymphocyte Infection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Moorman
    • 1
  • Zhi Qiang Yao
    • 1
  • Edward J. Bilsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deling Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineJames H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of New England College of Osteopathic MedicineBiddeford

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