Advertisement

Effects of Marijuana on Human Natural Killer Cell Activity

  • Steven Specter
  • Gerald Lancz
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 288)

Abstract

Marijuana and its major psychoactive component delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were first reported to depress various immune functions in humans as early as the mid 1970’s. (Reviewed in 1). However, these studies yielded conflicting data necessitating further investigations. Recent studies by Friedman and co-workers confirmed the immune suppressive effects of THC in mice using in vivo and in vitro experimental models (2–5). Klein et al. (6) reported depression of murine natural killer (NK) cell function in mice following in vitro exposure to THC while Patel et al. (7) demonstrated inhibition of rat NK cell cytotoxicity. A re-examination of responses of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) following exposure to THC in vitro indicates that lymphocyte blastogenesis (8), monocyte/macrophage spreading on plastic surfaces and phagocytosis (1) and NK cell activity (9,10) all are diminished in the presence of the drug.

Keywords

Natural Killer Cell Activity Phorbol Myristate Acetate Natural Killer Activity Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity Lymphocyte Blastogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    S. Specter, G. Lancz, and H. Friedman, Marijuana and immunosuppresion in man, in: “Drugs of Abuse and Immune Function,” R. R. Watson, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton (1990).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Y. Kawakami, T. W. Klein, C. Newton, J. Y. Djeu, G. Dennert, S. Specter, and H. Friedman, Suppression by cannabinoids of a cloned cell line with natural killer cell activity, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 187:355 (1988).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    T. W. Klein, C. A. Newton, R. Widen, and H. Friedman, The effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and ll-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on T lymphocyte and B lymphocyte mitogen responses, J. Immunopharmac. 7:451 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Lopez-Cepero, M. Friedman, T. Klein, and H. Friedman, Tetrahydro-cannabinol-induced suppression of macrophage spreading and phagocytic activity in vitro ,J. Leuk. Biol. 39:679 (1986).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. Pross, T. Klein, C. A. Newton, and H. Friedman, Differential effects of marijuana components on proliferation of spleen, lymph node and thymus cells, Int. J. Immunopharmac. 9:363 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    T. W. Klein, C. Newton, and H. Friedman, Inhibition of natural killer cell function by marijuana components, J. Toxicol. Envir. Hlth. 20:321 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    V. Patel, M. Borysenko, M. S. A. Kumar, and W. J. Willard, Effects of acute and subchronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol administration on the plasma catecholamine, B-endorphin, and corticosterone levels and splenic natural killer cell activity in rats, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 180:400 (1985).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Specter, G. Lancz, and J. Hazelden, Marijuana and immunity: Tetrahydrocannabinol mediated inhibition of lymphocyte blastogenesis, Int J. Immuno pharmac. 12:261 (1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. C. Specter, T. W. Klein, C. Newton, M. Mondragon, R. Widen, and H. Friedman, Marijuana effects on immunity: Suppression of human natural killer cell activity by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Int. J. Immunopharmac. 8:741 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    S. Specter, M. Rivenbark, C. Newton, Y. Kawakami, and G. Lancz, Prevention and reversal of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol induced depression of natural killer cell activity by interleukin-2, Int. J. Immunopharmac. 11:63 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    K. T. Brunner, J. Mauel, J. C. Cerottini, and B. Chapuis, Quantitative assay of the lytic action of immune lymphoid cells on 51Cr-labelled allogeneic target cells in vitro inhibition by iso-antibody and by drugs, Immunology 14:181 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    K. Kuribayashi, S. Gillis, D. E. Kern, and C. S. Henney, Murine NK cell cultures: effects of interleukin-2 and interferon on cell growth and cytotoxic reactivity, J. Immunol. 126:2321 (1981).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. J. Brunda, R. B. Herberman, and H. T. Holden, Inhibition of murine natural killer cell activity by prostaglandins, J. Immunol. 124:2682 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    B. E. Jeul-Jensen, Cannabis and recurrent herpes simplex, Brit. Med. J. 4:296 (1972).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    P. J. Donald, Marijuana smoking possible cause of head and neck carcinoma in young patients, Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. 94:517 (1986).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. L. Guarisco, M. L. Cheney, F. E. LeJeune, and H. T. Reed, Isolated uvulitis secondary to marijuana use, Laryngoscopy 98:1309 (1988).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    F. M. Taylor III, Marijuana as a potential respiratory tract carcinogen. A retrospective analysis of a community hospital population, South. Med. J. 81:1213 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    N. Isakov, W. Scholz, and A. Altman, Signal transduction and intracellular events in T-lymphocyte activation, Immunol. Today 7:271 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    S. G. Laychock, J. M. Hoffman, E. Meisel, and S. Bilgin, Pancreatic islet arachidonic acid turnover and metabolism and insulin release in response to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Biochem. Pharmacol. 35:2003 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Specter
    • 1
  • Gerald Lancz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations