Opium Induces Apoptosis in Jurkat Cells

Somayeh Igder, Gholam-Reza Asadikaram, Farzaneh Sheykholeslam, Ahmad-Reza Sayadi, Mehdi Mahmoodi, Mohammad Kazemi Arababadi, Mohammad Javad Rasaee


Background: The direct effect of some opioids on immune cells has been demonstrated. The aim of this study was to assess the apoptotic effect of opium on Jurkat T lymphocyte cells.

Methods: Different concentrations of opium (2.86 × 10-3 to 2.86 × 10-11 g/ml) were added to 24-well plates containing 5 × 105 Jurkat cells. Apoptotic events were assessed after 6, 24, and 72 hours by
flow-cytometric detection of surface phosphatidylserine.

Findings: Significant differences in apoptosis of Jurkat cells were seen at 24 and 72 hours in different concentrations of opium (P < 0.05). After 72 hours, significant increase in necrosis of Jurkat cells was seen in opium concentration of 2.85 × 10-3 g/ml compared to cells without opium (control) (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: These results showed that opium directly increases apoptosis and necrosis of
T lymphocytes. This effect may play a role in immune dysfunction in opium addicts.

Keywords: Opium, Apoptosis, Necrosis, Jurkat cells

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22122/ahj.v5i1-2.114


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