Kaplan, Barbara

kaplan barbara 004 webBarbara L. F. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Basic Sciences
Center for Environmental Health Sciences

Contact Information
College of Veterinary Medicine
PO Box 6100
Mississippi State, MS  39762-6100
Phone:  662-325-1113
Fax:  662-325-1031
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


B.S., Environmental Toxicology
University of California, Davis
Ph.D., Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Chicago

Research Interests

The focus of my laboratory is to elucidate the mechanisms by which drugs and chemicals alter immune function.  We use an autoimmune model of multiple sclerosis to study immune responsiveness in the periphery and in the central nervous system.  This model also allows us to study neuroimmune interactions.

I am currently focusing on two projects.  First, I am characterizing the mechanisms by which cannabinoid compounds (i.e., those derived from marijuana) alter immune function. Previously we demonstrated that plant-derived cannabinoid compounds suppress T cell-dependent humoral immunity. Interestingly, suppression of T cell function does not occur via either of the currently cloned cannabinoid receptors, CB1 or CB2, but suppression of B cell function is mediated through CB1 and/or CB2

Second, I am investigating the mechanisms by which environmental contaminants alter immune function.  We demonstrated that low-level chemical exposure suppressed T cell function and we are now focusing on effects on B cell function.  We will also determine the receptor through which the chemicals act by using gene knockout mice. 

Recent Publications:

Coole JB, Burr SS, Kay AM, Singh JA, Kondakala S, Yang EJ, Kaplan BLF, Howell GE 3rd, and Stewart JA. 2019.  Persistent organic pollutants increase RAGE signaling and oxidative stress in diabetic hearts. In Press, Environmental Toxicology.

Nichols JM and Kaplan BLF.  2019.  Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol (CBD).  In Press, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Kummari E, Nichols J and Kaplan BLF.  2019.  Neuroinflammation and B Cell Phenotypes in Cervical and Lumbosacral Regions of the Spinal cord in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Absence of Pertussis Toxin.  In Press, Neuroimmunomodulation.

Szafran B, Lee JW, Borazjani A, Morrison P, Zimmerman G, Andrzejewski K, Ross MK and Kaplan BLF.  2018.  Characterization of Endocannabinoid Metabolizing Enzymes in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Under Inflammatory Conditions.  Molecules.  23: 3167-3180.

Kaplan BLF.  2018.  Endocannabinoid Engagement of CB2 regulates RSV-induced Immunity. Virulence.  9:494-495.

Dhital S, Stokes J, Park N, Seo KS and Kaplan BLF.  2017.  Cannabidiol (CBD)-Induced Immunosuppression in Response to Low-Level T Cell Activation Involves Induction of Functional Tregs.  Cell Immunol.  312:  25-34.

Mulligan C, Kondakala S, Yang E-J, Stokes JV, Stewart JA, Kaplan BLF and Howell GE.  2017.  Exposure to an Environmentally Relevant Mixture of Organochlorine Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls Promotes Hepatic Steatosis in Male ob/ob Mice.  Environ Toxicol. 32:  1399-1411.

Yang E-J, Stokes J, Kummari E, Eells J and Kaplan BLF.  2016.  Immunomodulation by Sub-chronic Low Dose 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Absence of Pertussis Toxin. Toxicol Sci. 151:  35-43.

Szafran B, Borazjani S, Lee H-W, Ross MK and Kaplan BLF.  2015.  Lipopolysaccharide Suppresses Carboxylesterase 2g Activity and 2-Arachidonylglycerol Hydrolysis:  A Possible Mechanism to Regulate Inflammation.  Prostagl Other Lipid Med. 121:  199-206.