Researchers discover how opiates cause immunosuppressionBMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7179.280b (Published 30 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:280
- Abi Berger
Opiate drugs are potent painkillers and are also used recreationally. Opiates are known to suppress the immune system, and immunologists at the Jerome H Holland Laboratory for Biomedical Sciences at the American Red Cross in Maryland have discovered how this immune suppression comes about (Nature 1999;397:218).
Yufang Shi and colleagues have been studying the role of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in the regulation of the immune system. One mechanism known to trigger apoptosis in lymphocytes involves a protein receptor called …