Navigation Links
Nicotine may accelerate atherosclerosis, may be as dangerous as tar
Date:9/13/2007

NEW YORK (Sept. 10, 2007) -- It's well known that smoking cigarettes increases risk for a host of serious health problems from cancer to heart disease. Now a new study from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City looks at how they do their dirty work by contributing to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The evidence points to nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes.

By comparing reduced-nicotine cigarettes like Quest 3 and Eclipse with regular cigarettes, researchers discovered that the extent of cigarette-smoke induced atherosclerosis in mice correlated with the levels of nicotine -- the higher the nicotine, the more disease.

"Right now, the general consensus is that the problem with cigarettes is tar and that nicotine is safe. That's why you can buy nicotine gum or patches to help you stop smoking. Our study presents new evidence that nicotine may not be safe at all, especially for your heart," says Dr. Daniel F. Catanzaro, principal investigator of the study, recently published in the journal Cardiovascular Toxicology. Dr. Catanzaro is associate research professor of physiology and biophysics in the Departments of Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Previous studies have suggested that nicotine in cigarettes can hurt the heart by activating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing the heart rate -- potentially leading to fatal arrhythmias. (Nicotine also affects most organ systems -- including the gastrointestinal tract, the skin and the central nervous system.)

The new Weill Cornell study looked at two so-called "potentially reduced exposure products" (PREPs) -- Eclipse and Quest. Eclipse cigarettes work by heating inhaled air to activate its contents without burning the tobacco. Quest cigarettes are made with tobacco that is genetically-modified to have lower nicotine. Eclipse and Quest 3 have nicotine yields of 0.2 and 0.05 mg per cigarette, respectively. This compares to the two regular cigarettes studied -- 2R4F and Quest 1, with nicotine yields of 1 and 0.6 mg per cigarette, respectively. Eclipse and Quest cigarettes are marketed with the implication that they may be less harmful or addictive than conventional cigarettes. Quest cigarettes purportedly provide smokers the opportunity to taper their nicotine consumption by progressively moving to lower nicotine cigarettes. 2R4F is a research cigarette supplied by the University of Kentucky.

The study found that mice exposed to smoke from low-nicotine cigarettes had significantly smaller atherosclerotic lesions, compared to those exposed to regular cigarettes but still larger than lesions in control mice not exposed to cigarette smoke, which showed the least evidence of atherosclerosis. The accelerating effects of smoking on lesions was seen early, within weeks of smoke exposure.

"While our study seems to suggest that low-nicotine cigarettes are safer, we also know that smokers adjust their smoking habits to maintain their level of nicotine. In other words, if you switch to a low-nicotine product, you will probably increase the number of cigarettes you smoke, or change the way you smoke to get more nicotine out of each cigarette. The best thing to do is quit," says Dr. Catanzaro.

Although Quest 1, Quest 3 and 2R4F cigarettes all have the same tar yield (10 mg/cigarette), mice exposed to smoke from the high-nicotine 2R4F and Quest 1 cigarettes developed larger lesions than did mice exposed to smoke from Quest 3, which has the lowest nicotine content of all the products tested. According to the Weill Cornell investigators, this finding points to the special role of nicotine in promoting arteriosclerosis.

Researchers also found that iPF2alphaV, a marker for oxidative stress that has been linked with atherosclerosis in humans, increased proportionately with the level of nicotine. This finding may indicate that nicotine promotes atherosclerosis, in part, by blocking production of nitric oxide, a chemical that mediates the protective functions of the lining of blood vessels.

"These findings are preliminary. Going forward we will want to look at whether doping cigarettes with extra nicotine increases their atherogenic potential; whether blockers of nicotine reduce atherosclerosis; and if oral administration of nicotine has the same effects," says Dr. Catanzaro.

About 20 percent of Americans smoke. Cigarette smoke is linked to risk for cancer, chronic lung disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis), cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular dysfunction), stroke and cataracts as well as poor wound healing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Successful lung cancer surgery not enough to break nicotine dependence in many smokers
2. Nicotine triggers the same brain reward circuitry as opiates
3. Prenatal nicotine exposure reduces breathing response of newborns...
4. Nicotine exposure during development leads to hearing problems
5. Blood test predicts success of quitting smoking using the nicotine patch
6. Dissecting the machinery of nicotines reward
7. Smokers invite to test vaccine against nicotine addiction
8. New research identifies gene important for nicotines effects on the brain
9. Re-analysis of cigarettes confirms tobacco companies increased addictive nicotine 11 percent
10. Mechanism of nicotines learning effects explored
11. Children of smokers have more than 5 times higher levels of a nicotine toxin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, ... which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ... will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... and CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... and Brian Lula, president of Physik Instrumente USA, have been selected as this year’s ... photonics . , The two have been invited along with other honorees to accept ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... Association (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, are launching a joint ... and success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much like the program currently ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical ... and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 ... with his most recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... Wendelsheim, Germany (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 ... ... , is taking over the allergy specialists DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, ... We all know someone who suffers from hay fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema ...
Breaking Biology Technology: