Cigarette smoke impairs ability to fight disease

Mar 04, 2011

University College Dublin researchers in the obesity immunology research group in the Education Research Centre, St Vincent's University Hospital led by Professor Donal O’Shea have demonstrated for the first time that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) has a specific effect on a minor subset of immune cells. They believe that this may contribute to the role of cigarette smoke in the development of cancer.

Carginogens in can lead directly to lung cancer and have been implicated in several other malignancies. In addition, cigarette smokers have an increased susceptibility to type II diabetes, infections and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are immune regulators that play an important role in mounting anti-tumour responses with the early production of potent cytokines. Many studies have already shown that iNKT cells are defective in certain cancers.

This study compared the number and function of iNKT cells in a group of healthy individuals who smoke 20 cigarettes each day to those in non-smoking individuals of the same age group.

The findings, which were published recently in the journal, Clinical Immunology showed reduced iNKT cell numbers in cigarette smokers and also significant defects in the ability of iNKT cells to produce cytokines and kill target cells.

Commenting on the work, postdoctoral researcher and first author on this publication, Dr Andrew Hogan said, “It would seem that cigarette smoke has multiple negative effects on innate immune that are important in tumour surveillance and protection against infection. In addition to increasing your risk of developing cancer, it appears that smoking also impairs your body’s ability to fight the disease effectively”.

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

More information: Andrew. E. Hogan, et al., Cigarette smoke alters invariant natural killer T cell function and may inhibit anti-tumour responses, Clinical Immunology (2011), doi:10.1016/j.clim.2011.01.011

Provided by University College Dublin

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Allergy season: Cigarettes to the rescue?

May 14, 2009

Everyone knows that smoking can kill you, but did you know that it may help with your allergies? A new study shows that cigarette smoke can prevent allergies by decreasing the reaction of immune cells to allergens.

New mediator of smoking recruits

Apr 24, 2009

Current research suggests that smoking increases the production of osteopontin in the lungs, which contributes to the development of smoking-related lung disease. The related report by Prasse et al, "Essential role of osteopontin ...

Using cancer's weapons against it

Oct 08, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Tumours seem to pacify our immune system by tapping into our bodies’ codes, but we may be able to use this trick against them in our bid to hunt them down.

Avoid the hookah and save your teeth

Nov 08, 2005

Researchers say smoking a hookah is becoming increasingly trendy item in Mediterranean restaurants, cafes and bars -- but it can damage your teeth.

Smokers at risk from their own 'second-hand' smoke

Jan 29, 2010

It is well known that smokers damage their health by directly inhaling cigarette smoke. Now, research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health has shown that they are at additional risk from b ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 0