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Cannabinoids lead to enhanced virulence of the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia) virus.

Abstract

Indian hemp is used since thousands of years as herbal drug. We found that a single dose of cannabis resin was equally active as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhancing severity and duration of symptoms in vaccinia virus infected mice. Cowpox virus did not cause symptomatic disease, but some reduction of specific antibody production was observed in drug treated animals. In vitro cannabis was superior to THC alone at inhibiting mitogen stimulated proliferation of human and mouse spleen cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Also resin sub-fractions other than THC, cannabidiol and cannabinol, recovered also from cigarette smoke, were found inhibitory, suggesting additional involvement of constituents other than psychoactive THC. The immunoregulatory effects must be differentiated from apoptotic effects on spleen cells and lymphocytic mouse cell lines, which were observed with resin and THC but not with cannabidiol or cannabinol. A significant contribution of cytotoxic effects seems unlikely as drug treated lymphocytes were still capable of producing cytokines after T-cell receptor-specific stimulation. Considering a recent case of unusually severe cowpox virus infection in a young drug taker these data confirm a risk of "soft drugs" for acquiring poxvirus infection or enhancing side effects of the smallpox vaccine and perhaps also other live vaccines.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Dept. of Hygiene, Microbiology & Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. hartwig.huemer@i-med.ac.at

    , , , , ,

    Source

    Immunobiology 216:6 2011 Jun pg 670-7

    MeSH

    Animals
    Antibody Formation
    Apoptosis
    Cannabinoids
    Cell Line
    Cell Proliferation
    Cowpox virus
    Cytokines
    Dronabinol
    Female
    Humans
    Leukocytes, Mononuclear
    Mice
    Mice, Inbred BALB C
    Mitogens
    Rabbits
    Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
    Spleen
    T-Lymphocytes
    Vaccinia
    Vaccinia virus
    Virulence

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21131094

    Citation

    * When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Cannabinoids lead to enhanced virulence of the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia) virus. AU - Huemer,Hartwig P, AU - Lassnig,Caroline, AU - Bernhard,David, AU - Sturm,Sonja, AU - Nowotny,Norbert, AU - Kitchen,Maria, AU - Pavlic,Marion, Y1 - 2010/11/16/ PY - 2010/08/11/received PY - 2010/11/07/revised PY - 2010/11/08/accepted PY - 2010/12/7/entrez PY - 2010/12/7/pubmed PY - 2011/9/3/medline SP - 670 EP - 7 JF - Immunobiology JO - Immunobiology VL - 216 IS - 6 N2 - Indian hemp is used since thousands of years as herbal drug. We found that a single dose of cannabis resin was equally active as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhancing severity and duration of symptoms in vaccinia virus infected mice. Cowpox virus did not cause symptomatic disease, but some reduction of specific antibody production was observed in drug treated animals. In vitro cannabis was superior to THC alone at inhibiting mitogen stimulated proliferation of human and mouse spleen cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Also resin sub-fractions other than THC, cannabidiol and cannabinol, recovered also from cigarette smoke, were found inhibitory, suggesting additional involvement of constituents other than psychoactive THC. The immunoregulatory effects must be differentiated from apoptotic effects on spleen cells and lymphocytic mouse cell lines, which were observed with resin and THC but not with cannabidiol or cannabinol. A significant contribution of cytotoxic effects seems unlikely as drug treated lymphocytes were still capable of producing cytokines after T-cell receptor-specific stimulation. Considering a recent case of unusually severe cowpox virus infection in a young drug taker these data confirm a risk of "soft drugs" for acquiring poxvirus infection or enhancing side effects of the smallpox vaccine and perhaps also other live vaccines. SN - 1878-3279 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21131094/abstract/Cannabinoids_lead_to_enhanced_virulence_of_the_smallpox_vaccine__vaccinia__virus_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0171-2985(10)00200-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -