STUDIES ON IMMUNOTOXIC POTENTIAL OF METHAMPHETAMINE (MA) IN Balb/C MICE I. Changes of Lymphoid Organs and Inhibitory Effect of Lymphocyte Proliferation to Mitogen

  • Lim, Chae-Woong (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Rim, Byung-Moo (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Lee, Ho-Il (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Kim, Sang-Ho (Department of Pathology, Medical School, Chonbuk National University)
  • Published : 1995.06.01


The immune system is partially under the control of the sympathetic and parasymphathetic nervous systems through the regulatory feedback loop. Methamphetamine (MA) is a neurotoxic chemical which affects the neurotransmitter system. The objective of this study was to investigate the immunotoxic effect of MA on the major immune target organ and lymphocyte proliferation to the various mitogens. Female Balb/C mice, 15 to 20 g, were injected subcutaneously with 0, 0.5, or 5 mg MA/kg for 14 consecutive days. In MA treated mice, the body weight gain and relative spleen and thymus weight were decreased in doserelated manner. Histopathologically, there was a paucity of lymphold follicles and germinal centers in the spleen, and thymic cortical atrophy with lymphophagocytosis was prominent. Apoptosis also occurred in germinal centers of spleen and thymic cortex. The threshold and peak of lymphocyte proliferation at various concentration of mitogens showed similar patterns. However, the response to lipopolysaccaride (LPS) and pokeweed mitogen (PWM) in the 5 mg MA/kg treated group showed threshold and peak proliferation at high concentration of mitogens (25${\mu}g$ LPS/ml for MA vs 15${\mu}g$ LPS/ml for control; 60${\mu}g$ PWM/ml for MA vs 45${\mu}g$ PWM/ml for control), which suggest that MA impairs T cell dependent-B cell function. This preliminary study indicated that MA affected the lymphold organs and immune function.


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