Very little is known regarding the effects of nicotine, the most pharmacologically active component of tobacco products, on T lymphocyte activity or interleukin production. Therefore, rats were implanted subcutaneously with osmotic mini-pumps containing either physiological saline, nicotine (1.5 mg/kg/day) or a high dose of nicotine (4.5 mg/kg/day) for a period of 14 days. The ability of the splenic T lymphocytes to respond to the polyclonal T lymphocyte mitogens, Concanavalin A (ConA) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and the ability of mitogen stimulated splenic T lymphocytes to produce interleukin 2 (IL2) were determined. Treatment with nicotine suppressed, in a dose dependent fashion, the ability of splenic T lymphocytes to respond to mitogen, but dramatically enhanced the ability of mitogen stimulated lymphocytes to generate IL2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy