Navigation Links
New study reveals how cannabis suppresses immune functions
Date:11/24/2010

An international team of immunologists studying the effects of cannabis have discovered how smoking marijuana can trigger a suppression of the body's immune functions. The research, published in the European Journal of Immunology, reveals why cannabis users are more susceptible to certain types of cancers and infections.

The team, led by Dr Prakash Nagarkatti from the University of South Carolina, focused their research on cannabinoids, a group of compounds found inside the cannabis plant, including THC (delta-9 tetahydrocannabinol) which is already used for medical purposes such as pain relief.

"Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs of abuse worldwide and it is already believed to suppress immune functions making the user more susceptible to infections and some types of cancer," said Dr Nagarkatti. "We believe the key to this suppression is a unique type of immune cell, which has only recently been identified by immunologists, called myeloid-derived suppressor cells, MDSCs."

While most immune cells fight against infections and cancers to protect the host, MDSCs actively suppress the immune system. The presence of these cells is known to increase in cancer patients and it is believed that MDSCs may suppress the immune system against cancer therapy, actually promoting cancer growth.

Dr Nagarkatti's team demonstrated that cannabinoids can trigger a massive number of MDSCs through activation of cannabinoid receptors. This research reveals, for the first time, that marijuana cannabinoids may suppress the immune system by activating these unique cells.

"These results raise interesting questions on whether increased susceptibility to certain types of cancers or infections caused from smoking marijuana results from induction of MDSCs," said Nagarkatti. "MDSCs seem to be unique and important cells that may be triggered by inappropriate production of certain growth factors by cancer cells or other chemical agents such as cannabinoids, which lead to a suppression of the immune system's response."

In a related study, also published in the European journal of Immunology, Dr Christian Vosshenrich from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, reveals that when cancer cells grow they produce a molecule called interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), which also triggers MDSCs. This study identifies how MDSCs produced during cancer growth also weaken the ability of immune cells to kill cancer cells.

"Marijuana cannabinoids present us with a double edged sword," concluded Dr Nagarkatti. "On one hand, due to their immunosuppressive nature, they can cause increased susceptibility to cancer and infections. However, further research of these compounds could provide opportunities to treat a large number of clinical disorders where suppressing the immune response is actually beneficial."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-124-377-0375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Healthcare Associates of McKinney announced today that ... at 8080 State Highway 121, Suite 210, McKinney, Texas 75070. It is in ... , As the practice has grown, the need for more space has been paramount. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... With ProGlass Prism users now have the ability to ... control over position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, chromatic aberration, individual glass position ... With ProGlass Prism users are given the tools and effects to generate a ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has published a ... an astounding statement when he says that the entire Bible was written for the ... times so plainly that anyone should be able to see the time period. He ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... Fiber Network (IFN) President and CEO Kelly C. Dyer recently announced that he will ... the Management Committee when IFN was originally formed in 2002 where he was ultimately ... of the business plan. He became the first paid employee of IFN in ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Lawn, NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 ... ... with robust marketing services, which specializes in thought leadership , media relations, ... marketing campaigns and services that will be powered through Act-On, an intuitive marketing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017  Xynomic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology ... it has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop, ... HDAC inhibitor targeting hematological and solid tumors. ... 1 and 2 clinical trials of Abexinostat in ... have already been completed, demonstrating that Abexinostat is ...
(Date:2/23/2017)...  Genesis Healthcare Services has merged with Hospice Cloud, ... Bill Monast , President and CEO of Hospice ... Feltman , executives with Home Health Depot, Inc., the ... This acquisition helps Hospice Cloud maintain its position ... medical equipment (DME) solutions for the hospice industry. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Corp. (NYSE: NVRO), a global medical device company that is ... today reported financial results for the three months and full ... & Highlights: Achieved revenue of $228.5 million ... reported, over the prior year U.S. revenue of ... prior year International revenue of $55.2 million ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: