///2015 Abstract Details
2015 Abstract Details2019-08-02T16:54:43-06:00

The Different Impact of Morphine on Immune System

Abstract Number: F-50
Abstract Type: Original Research

Li-Kuei Chen MD; PhD1

The Different Impact of Morphine on Immune System

Through Systemic or Neuroaxial Route


Morphine is the most common opioids for anesthetic analgesia delivered via intraveneous, epidural or spinal route to inhibit sensory neurons. Morphine-induced side effects include nausea, vomiting, or dysponea. Increasing evidences suggest morphine can also induce alterations in immune functions through inhibition of antibody production, immune cell activation and cytokine production which are associated with the increased risks for opportunistic infection, herpes viral reactivation and promoting tumorgenesis. These evidences suggested that interactions between morphine stimulation on neural cells and the peripheral tissues have impacts on immune responses. Current research is aimed to evaluate the morphine-induced effects on immune cell function and cytokine production in healthy individuals.

A total of 29 paired samples of fresh peripheral blood were collected. The samples were from healthy women before and after their delivery who had used morphine for anesthetic analgesia via intraveneous, epidural or spinal route. Isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were activated with mitogens and stained with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies against CD4, CD8, IL-2 and IFN- for flow cytometry analysis. Plasma samples from the same patients were also measured for cytokine prodection including IL-6, IFN2, IL-10, IL-8, GM-CSF and MCP-1 by ELISA. We found that injection of morphine by either routes slightly decreased the percentage of CD4+ cells expressing IL-2 but no significant effect on CD8+ cells after activation. Intraveneous or epidural delivery of morphine tended to reduce the percentage of CD8+ cells expressing IFN-. These results suggested that short-term treatment with morphine might inhibit T cell activation in healthy adults.

Results from the measurement of cytokine production in the plasma of patient after morphine treatment showed that intraveneous and spinal delivery of morphine significantly increased the level of IL-6 production whereas epidural morphine decreased the levels of IL-10 and GM-CSF production. Intravenous morphine also reduced MCP-1 production in the plasma. Altogether, these results have suggested that epidural morphine may cause less activation of neuronal cells and resulted in less inhibitory effects on immune function. However, invravenous and epidural morphine may increase the risk in inhibiting ontogenesis of gran

SOAP 2015