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Alteration of lymphocyte opioid receptors in methadone maintenance subjects (2010)

Alteration of lymphocyte opioid receptors in methadone maintenance subjects (2010)

  1. mersann
    Authors: Tipa Toskulkao, Ruchee Pornchai, Varaporn Akkarapatumwong, Smith Vatanatunyakum, Piyarat Govitrapong


    Abstract beginning: Methadone maintenance therapy is the most widely used treatment in patients with heroin addiction. Multiple studies have suggested that both current and former heroin addicts entering a methadone maintenance treatment program have altered immune function. Our previous study indicated that heroin addicts have depressed mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and a decrease in the modulation of lymphocyte surface markers. This immunosuppression may be mediated via the direct interaction of opiates with lymphocyte opioid receptors. In order to test this hypothesis, the levels of opioid receptors on immune cells obtained from heroin users were determined using saturation binding, and it was found that former heroin addicts on methadone maintenance treatment had a significantly reduced maximum number (Bmax) of [3H]naloxone binding.