Toby K. Eisenstein, PhD
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Co-Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research
- Contact Information
- About Me
The major research areas in Dr. Eisenstein’s laboratory are investigation of the effects of opioids, cannabinoids, and alcohol, alone and in combination, on immune responses and resistance to infection. Her group has shown that all three substances suppress functional immune responses in vitro, demonstrating direct effects of these drugs on cells of the immune system. Morphine, given in vivo subacutely, suppressed antibody responses systemically and in the gastrointestinal tract. The effect of withdrawal from morphine on the immune system has been a major focus of her research, and she has shown that both abrupt and precipitated withdrawal induce profound immunosuppression through effects on macrophages and B-cells. Further, withdrawal lowers the resistance of mice to infection with Salmonella typhimurium, which correlates with failure of withdrawn mice to respond to infection with elevation in the cytokine, Interleukin-12. Her group has also found that withdrawal induces a sepsis syndrome that sensitizes mice to the lethal effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide via increased production of tumor necrosis factor. Recently completed research examined the effect of morphine, alone and in combination with trauma, on susceptibility of mice to Acinetobacter baumannii infection and the role of IL-17A on resistance to this organism. Her laboratory is currently investigating the effect of morphine on SIV infection in monkeys as assessed by changes in functional immune assays, including natural killer cell activity, response to mitogens, and cytokine and chemokine levels. In addition, she is investigating the immunosuppressive effects of cannabinoids with activity at the CB2 receptor in inhibiting skin and organ graft rejection, and the potential of these compounds for clinical use. Further, she is examining drug interactions between cannabinoids, opioids, and alcohol in several tests of immune function.
- Education, Training & Credentials
- PhD, Bryn Mawr College
- BA, Wellesley College
Eisenstein TK., Rahim RT, Feng P, Thingalaya NK, Meissler JJ. Effects of opioid tolerance and withdrawal on the immune system. J Neuroimmune Pharm 1:(237-49)2006.
Eisenstein TK, Kaminsky DE, Rahim RT, Rogers TJ. Drugs of Abuse and the Immune System. In “NeuroImmune Pharmacology”, ed. T. Ikezu and H. Gendelman, Springer, NY. (531-539).2008
Eisenstein TK, Breslow J, Song C, Finley MJ, Cornwell W, Chugh S, Meissler JJ, and Rogers TJ. 2011. “HIV and Opioids”, in “Neurology of AIDS, 3rd Ed”. ed. H. Gendelman, I. Grant, I.P. Everall, H. Glebard, H.S. Fox., S.A.Lipton, and S. Swindells. Oxford University Press. pgs. 338-353. Collapse