The Immunomodulatory Effects of Methamphetamine

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Papageorgiou, Marco (2020) The Immunomodulatory Effects of Methamphetamine. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


The psychostimulant, METH causes central nervous system damage, along with short and long-term changes to the innate and adaptive immune system. METH was investigated for its impact(s) across a range of physiological contexts. Specifically, crystal METH was investigated for its immune-modulatory effects, in cells of the innate immunity, as well as gene expression modifications in the mouse colon using open- source gene ontology programs. In this regard, changes in differential gene expression and subsequent enrichment in gene ontology groups allowed for a deeper understanding of how METH impacts ontological pathways. Metagenomics was also employed to track changes to colon bacteria upon an escalating dose, followed by a withdrawal period. Together, results indicated that METH causes changes to some genes involved in innate immunity, and minor shifts to abundant bacterial species in the colon. Moreover, gene ontology networks showed several significantly up- and down-differentially regulated genes across functional, molecular and biological processes according to open-source software. Overall, this work represents a significant milestone in the amalgamation of bioinformatics, next-generation sequencing technology and metagenomic diversity profiling. Lastly, this work can initiate further research into how chronic METH use, and withdrawal could help construct models on weaving the relationship between mental health outcomes in METH users.

Additional Information

Master of Science (Research)

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1107 Immunology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords METH; crystal METH; methamphetamine; immune-modulatory effects; gene expression; metagenomics; immunity; colon
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