Evaluation of nk and lak cell activities in neoplastic patients during treatment with morphine

M. Provinciali, G. Di Stefano, W. Raffaeli, G. Pari, F. Desiderio, N. Fabris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The cytotoxic activity of Natural Killer (NK) and Lymphokine Activated Killer (LAK) cells in neoplastic patients with or without antalgic treatment was studied. NK cell activity was found reduced in untreated neoplastic patients when compared to healthy subjects. The antalgic treatment with morphine (orally or intrathecally administered) was able to significantly reduce the mean values of NK cell activity found in cancer patients. In three patients the cytotoxicity of NK cells significantly decreased during transfer from oral to intrathecal administration of morphine. In contrast to the NK cell function, the development of LAK cell activity significantly increased in neoplastic patients when compared to healthy controls. Further increments were obtained during treatment with morphine. The oral treatment with morphine was able to determine a higher induction of LAK cells than the intrathecal administration of the drug. Besides providing new knowledge on the effect of morphine on immune system our findings suggest that, in order to include neoplastic patients in clinical trials of adoptive immunotherapy with LAK cells and interleukin-2 (IL-2), the antalgic therapy with oral administration of morphine may represent a better solution than the intrathecal administration of the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Volume59
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991

Keywords

  • Lymphokine Activated Killer cells
  • Morphine
  • Natural Killer cells
  • Neoplastic patients
  • Neuroimmunomodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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