Background: Several cells of immune system such as regulatory T cells and macrophages secrete transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) in response to different stimuli. This cytokine has inhibitory effect on immune system and diminished production of this cytokine is associated with autoimmune disorders.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of opium addiction on serum level of TGF-β in male and female diabetic and non-diabetic Wistar rats.
Methods: This experimental study was performed on normal, opium addicted, diabetic and addicted-diabetic male and female rats. Serum level of TGF-β was measured by ELISA.
Results: The results of our study indicated that the mean serum level of TGF-β in female addicted rats was significantly increased compared to control group (p<0.004). Conversely, in male addicted rats the mean serum level of TGF-β was lower compared with control (p<0.065).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that opium and its derivatives have differential inductive effects on the cytokine expression in male and female rats.