Buckley's Laboratory Research
Investigating the Role of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors on mouse resistance to yeast infections
Cannabinoids are known to suppress resistance to bacterial, viral and protozoan infections. In our laboratory, we are investigating the effect of the psychoactive component of marijuana, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the resistance of yeast infections. Recently, we reported that THC suppresses mouse resistance to a secondary, but not a primary, systemic Candida albicans infection (Blumstein et al, 2014). Our goal is to determine whether cannabinoids such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) alter mouse resistance to systemic and/or mucocutaneous yeast infections. Since the peripheral cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) is known to be expressed in cells of the immune system, we also aim to investigate the role of CB2R during this type of infection.
Investigating the effect of garlic on immune cells
Garlic has been consumed for millennia and has been attributed with medicinal effects including immune modulatory activities. Recently, we reported that an aqueous garlic extract enhances lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production (Sung et al, 2015). LPS is a highly immunogenic component of the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria. Our goal is to further characterize the effect of garlic on immune cell response to pathogenic agents such as LPS and yeast.