Could dopamine agonists be repurposed to control the immune system?

Written by Francesca Lake

Research into Caenorhabditis elegans has suggested manipulation of dopamine signaling could control gut inflammation. The results imply that drugs currently utilized in the nervous system, such as antipsychotics, might be repurposed to control the immune system. The study, performed by researchers at Duke University (NC, USA) saw C. elegans, chosen as a model owing to their simple nervous and immune systems, treated with chlorpromazine, a dopamine agonist currently used to treat schizophrenia and manic depression. Treated worms were more resistant to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection than an untreated set. Treatment with dopamine reversed the effect. The work follows on from previous...

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