Immune System and Methamphetamine: Molecular Basis of a Relationship

Katarzyna Macur, Pawel Ciborowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The use of methamphetamine (Meth) as a drug of abuse is on the rise worldwide. Besides its effect on the function of the brain, Meth has detrimental effects on how the immune system functions. As documented in the literature, various experimental models (cellular, animal, mice, and non-human primates) have been used that have contributed to the overall knowledge about immune system impairments from Meth exposure. It has to be noted that while Meth is used in very few treatments, it affects a broad range of biological mechanisms, not only immune regulation, in a negative manner. Undoubtfully, the effect of Meth is highly complex; moreover, the initial molecular triggers remain unknown. The analyses of available literature suggest that the effect of Meth is not prompted by one underlying mechanism. Although the effect of Meth might be either acute or long-lasting, the overall effect is negative. Further advancement of our knowledge on Meth’s specific actions will require systematic experimental approaches using all available models. In addi-tion, bioinformatic analyses are necessary to build a comprehensive model as a needed tool to fill the gap in knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2067-2076
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Methamphetamine
  • T-cells
  • experimental models
  • immune system
  • macrophages
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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