Functional modulation on macrophage by low dose naltrexone (LDN)

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Abstract

Previously it was confirmed that naltrexone, a non-peptide δ-opioid receptor selective antagonist is mainly used for alcoholic dependence and opioid addiction treatment. However, there is increasing data on immune regulation of low dose naltrexone (LDN). The aim of this work was to explore the effect of LDN on the phenotype and function of macrophage. The changes of macrophage after treatment with LDN were examined using flow cytometry (FCM); FITC-dextran phagocytosis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We have found that LDN enhances function of macrophage as confirmed by up-regulating MHC II molecule and CD64 on macrophage while down-regulating CD206 expression. Furthermore the productions of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, increased significantly. Macrophages in LDN treated group performed the enhanced phagocytosis. Therefore it is concluded that LDN could promote function of macrophage and this work has provided concrete data of impact on immune system by LDN. Especially the data would support interaction between CD4 + T cell and macrophage in AIDS treatment with LDN in Africa (LDN has already been approved in Nigeria for the use in AIDS treatment).

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