Effect of nicotine, cotinine and cigarette smoke extract on the neutrophil respiratory burst

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Colleges, School and Institutes


AIMS To determine the effect of nicotine, cotinine and cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on the neutrophil respiratory burst and their effect on activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) pathway in oral epithelium. MATERIALS AND METHODS Neutrophils from periodontally healthy individuals were treated with nicotine, cotinine and CSE before stimulation with Fusobacterium nucleatum, IgG-opsonized Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide. Total and extracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was determined by luminol/isoluminol chemiluminescence. Activation of NFκB in oral epithelial cells was determined by immunocytochemistry. RESULTS Smoke extract alone caused increased neutrophil extracellular isoluminol-dependent chemiluminescence, not detectable with luminol. However, pre-treatment with smoke extract reduced both total and extracellular ROS generation in response to all stimuli. Nicotine and cotinine had no effect on the neutrophil respiratory burst. Smoke extract, nicotine and cotinine did not induce oral epithelial cell NFκB activation. CONCLUSIONS These data demonstrate that smoke extract reduces the ability of neutrophils to generate ROS after stimulation with F. nucleatum and IgG-opsonized S. aureus but, at high concentrations, stimulates extracellular ROS generation. During periodontitis, cigarette smoking may differentially affect neutrophil function, generally preventing elimination of periodontal pathogens but, in heavy smokers, also stimulating ROS release and oxidative stress mediated tissue damage.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011