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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Oct 2019 - 25 Oct 2019

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Jan

Brain Behav Immun


Morphine decreases the function of primary human natural killer cells by both TLR4 and opioid receptor signaling.



Opioids are commonly used to provide analgesia for cancer pain, and functional opioid receptors have been identified on natural killer (NK) cells, the lymphocytes responsible for surveillance and elimination of cancer cells. Opioids also bind to other lymphocyte receptors, such as Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4. Here, we characterized the effects of morphine on primary human NK cell cytotoxicity and mediator release, which occur through classical opioid receptor or TLR4 signaling.