Amphetamine, a neural stimulatory agent with acute effects mimicking those of stress, is shown here to elevate plasma corticosterone levels and suppress spleen and peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) mitogenic responses to concanavalin A (Con A) and phytohemagglutinin (PHA) when administered to rats. Pretreatment of the rats with propranolol, a nonselective β-adrenergic receptor antagonist, totally prevented the amphetamine-induced suppression of lymphocyte mitogenic reactivity to Con A and PHA in the spleen and to PHA in the peripheral blood; however, the PBL mitogenic response to Con A was only partially restored. Although the amphetamine-induced alterations in immune function were prevented by propranolol pretreatment, the elevated plasma corticosterone response was not. This suggests that corticosterone is not modulating the mitogenic activity of splenic lymphocytes or PHA-reactive PBLs. On the other hand, Con A-reactive PBLs may be affected by corticosterone and/or other mechanisms, which may include catecholamines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience