Altered Serum Immunoglobulin Concentration in Chronic Marijuana Smokers

  • Gabriel G. Nahas
  • Eliott F. Osserman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 288)

Abstract

Marijuana smoking has been reported to produce a variety of effects on the immune system of animals and man (1). Even before the reports of an apparent marijuana depression of the cell-mediated immune response (2,3), several factors suggested that marijuana might interfere with immunological mechanisms: Tobacco smoking was an immunosuppressant of both humoral (4) and cellular (5) immune pathways; 2) marijuana like tobacco, stimulated the pituitary-adrenal axis (6) which could initiate involution of the thymus (1), a primary organ of the immune system; 3) cannabinoids have a specific affinity for lung tissue (7), a major organ for phagocytosis, providing prolonged exposure of drug to macrophages irrespective of route of administration of cannabinoids; 4) marijuana has influenced alveolar macrophage structure, function, and mobilization (8); 5) cannabis use has evoked allergic reactions (9); 6) cannabinoids might perform as haptens because of their nearly complete binding to plasma proteins (10,11); and 7) cannabinoids have repressed bone marrow leukopoiesis (12).

Keywords

Depression Corticosteroid Superoxide Aspirin Smoke 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel G. Nahas
    • 1
  • Eliott F. Osserman
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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