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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
Factor de Impacto: 1.352 Factor de Impacto de 5 años: 3.347 SJR: 1.022 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Imprimir: 1040-8401
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v16.i2.10
pages 109-144

Opioid and Opiate Immunoregulatory Processes

George B. Stefano
Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, New York ,Cardiothoracic Division, Department of Surgery, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York,Division of Psychiatry,
Berta Scharrer
Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
Eric M. Smith
Departments of Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas
Thomas K. Hughes Jr.
Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas
Harold I. Magazine
Department of Biology, Queens College and Graduate School of the City University of New York, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, New York
Thomas V. Bilfinger
Cardiothoracic Division, Department of Surgery, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
Alan R. Hartman
Cardiothoracic Division, Department of Surgery, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
Gregory L. Fricchione
Division of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Yu Liu
Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, New York
Maynard H. Makman
Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York

SINOPSIS

The discovery of the ability of the nervous system to communicate through "public" circuits with other systems of the body is attributed to Ernst and Berta Scharrer, who described the neurosecretory process in 1928. Indeed, the immune system has been identified as another important neuroendocrine target tissue. Opioid peptides are involved in this communication (i.e., neuroimmune) and with that of autoimmunoregulation (communication between immunocytes). The significance of opioid neuropeptide involvement with the immune system is ascertained from the presence of novel δ, μ., and κ receptors on inflammatory cells that result in modulation of cellular activity after activation, as well as the presence of specific enzymatic degradation and regulation processes. In contrast to the relatively uniform antinociceptive action of opiate and opioid signal molecules in neural tissues, the presence of naturally occurring morphine in plasma and a novel μ3 opiate-specific receptor on inflammatory cells adds to the growing knowledge that opioid and opiate signal molecules may have antagonistic actions in select tissues. In examining various disorders (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus, substance abuse, parasitism, and the diffuse inflammatory response associated with surgery) evidence has also been found for the involvement of opiate/opioid signaling in prominent mechanisms. In addition, the presence of similar mechanisms in man and organisms 500 million years divergent in evolution bespeaks the importance of this family of signal molecules. The present review provides an overview of recent advances in the field of opiate and opioid immunoregulatory processes and speculates as to their significance in diverse biological systems.


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