Cocaine Effects on Cultured Lymphocytes

  • Thomas W. Klein
  • Catherine Newton
  • Herman Friedman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 288)


Cocaine is a local anesthetic containing a tertiary amine structure derived from the amino alcohol base, ecgonine. Ecgonine is methylated and esterified with benzoic acid to form cocaine or benzoylmethylecgonine (1). Cocaine was first isolated in 1857 and its medical uses have included application as a topical anesthetic in nasal surgery. The drug appears to be metabolized in humans and other mammals by means of plasma and tissue esterases (2). The major urinary metabolites appear to be the water soluble substances, benzoylecgonine and ecgoninemethy-lester (3). Cocaine can also be N-demethylated in the body and the resulting metabolite, norcocaine, has been reported to have good biological activity in a variety of systems (4,5,6).


Natural Killer Cell Peripheral Blood Leukocyte Natural Killer Cell Activity Cocaine Administration Cocaine Dose 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Klein
    • 1
  • Catherine Newton
    • 1
  • Herman Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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