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:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... the sales department joining as Regional Account Manager for the Northeast and Florida ... in the liquidation of their obsolete medical assets. , Jennifer joins Centurion with ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... Arbor, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2017 ... ... of special education programs at Spring Arbor University recently co-authored and published an ... Self-Determination in Adolescents with Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. Both the article and the ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... USHEALTH Group, Inc. has been ... CEO World Awards®. The coveted annual CEO World Awards program encompasses the world’s ... corporate social responsibility, and milestones from every major industry in the world. Organizations ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... , ... July 24, 2017 , ... Cheerag D. ... Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute (SLMBNI), part of Saint Luke’s Health ... 2016. , Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, MD. M.Sc., FAANS joins Stanley P. Fisher, ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... Hagerstown, MD (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 ... ... County Public Schools (MCPS) have partnered together for a unique opportunity that helps high ... their mission of “Removing Barriers, Creating Opportunities.” Horizon Goodwill will host over ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/5/2017)... JERUSALEM , July 5, 2017 ... www.oramed.com ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company ... today that it has received approval from the Israel Securities ... Stock Exchange (TASE). Oramed common stock will commence trading on ... Based on the current market capitalization of the Company, it ...
(Date:7/5/2017)... , July 5, 2017   BioLife Solutions , ... manufacturer and marketer of proprietary clinical grade cell and ... media ("BioLife"), today announced that it has reached ... holder and largest shareholder, to modify its existing credit ... to the modification, WAVI agreed to exchange its existing ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Md. , June 30, 2017 In ... since the start of May, at least ten diagnostic ... include private investments, public offerings and a loan facility.  ... million to almost $80 million.  Kalorama Information provides a ... of its Diagnostics Knowledge Center. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: