Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, influences the immune system

J Neuroimmunol. 2000 Jan 24;102(2):113-24. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(99)00176-9.


Dopamine (DA) is a monoamine neurotransmitter of both central and peripheral nervous system. Its role in the neural-immune communication has been discussed in the present review. Results reveal that in vivo damage or stimulation of specific central dopaminergic system suppresses or enhances functional activities of the immune effector cells. The possible influences of other immunomodulators of the brain by altering brain DA may be the underlying mechanism. Direct effects of DA on the immune effector cells are also contradictory, it is suppressive in vitro, while in pharmacological doses, it is mostly stimulatory in vivo. The possible mechanisms have been discussed. Lastly, future areas of relevance on DA and immunity have been highlighted to advance our knowledge regarding DA as an immune regulator.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Dopamine