Kaplan, Barbara

kaplan barbara 004 webBarbara L. F. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Assistant 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:

Dhital S, Stokes J, Park N, Seo KS and Kaplan BLF2017.  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.

Phadnis-Moghe A, Chen W, Li J, Crawford RB, Bach T, D’Ingillo S, Kovalova N, Suarez-Martinez J, Kaplan BLF, Harrill JA, Budinsky R, Rowlands JC, Thomas RS and Kaminski NE.  2016.  Immunological Characterization of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) Knockout Rat in the Presence and Absence of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).  Toxicol.  368-369:  172-182.

Simkins TJ, Fried D, Parikh K, Galligan JJ, Goudreau JL, Lookingland KJ and Kaplan BLF2016.  Reduced Noradrenergic Signaling in the Spleen Capsule in the Absence of CB1 and CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors.  J Neuroimmune Pharmacol.  11:669-679.

Yang E-J, Stokes J, Kummari E, Eells J and Kaplan BLF2016.  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 BLF2015.  Lipopolysaccharide Suppresses Carboxylesterase 2g Activity and 2-Arachidonylglycerol Hydrolysis:  A Possible Mechanism to Regulate Inflammation.  Prostagl Other Lipid Med. 121:  199-206.

Kaplan BLF, Li J, LaPres JJ, Pruett SB and Karmaus PWF.  2015.  Contributions of Non-        hematopoietic        Cells and Mediators to Immune Responses:  Implications for Immunotoxicology.     Toxicol Sci. 145:  214-232. *peer-reviewed review article