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Cell density determines extent of damage caused by cigarette smoke exposure

BETHESDA, MD First- or second-hand exposure to cigarettes can lead to a variety of diseases, including tissue destruction found in pulmonary emphysema and osteoporosis. Also included among cigarette smoking-induced diseases are disorders in which an excessive deposition of fibrotic scar occurs, such as with atherosclerosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Collagen is the major protein of the white fibers found in connective tissue, cartilage, and bone. It comprises a family of genetically distinct molecules, all of which have a unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits known as chains. At least 13 types of collagen have been identified, each with a different polypeptide chain. Fibroblasts, spindle-shaped cells with cytoplasmic processes present in connective tissue, are capable of forming collagen fibers. The effect of smoking on this physiological process is undetermined.

The Study
A new study has sought to determine whether the effects of cigarette smoke on the contraction of fibroblast-populated collagen gels is dependent on cell density. This research attempted to demonstrate density-dependent effects, and explore the mechanisms by which smoke exerts differential effects by determining the effect of cigarette smoke exposure (CSE) on the release of transforming growth factor and PGE2, mediators that possibly function as local regulators of collagen gel contraction.

The authors of the study, Effect of Cigarette Smoke on Fibroblast-mediated Gel Contraction is Dependent on Cell Density, are Hangjun Wang, from Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Xiangde Liu, Fu-Qiang Wen, Debra J. Romberger, John R. Spurzem, and Stephen I. Rennard, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; Takeshi Umino from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan; Tadashi Kohyama, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan; Yun Kui Zhu, Department of Respiratory Diseases, Jincheng Hospital,
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
12-Feb-2003


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