Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smoking damages key regulatory enzyme in the lung

07.09.2005


Smoking appears to reduce a key enzyme in the lungs, possibly contributing to some of smoking’s deleterious health effects, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. The study, which used a radiotracer to track the enzyme, also shows that smokers had a lower concentration of the tracer in the bloodstream than nonsmokers did, leading to speculation that smokers and nonsmokers may respond differently to a variety of substances administered by inhalation or intravenously, including therapeutic, anesthetic and addictive drugs.



“The effects of smoking on human health are enormous; yet, little is known about the pharmacologic effects of smoking on the human body apart from the effects of nicotine,” noted Joanna S. Fowler, Ph.D., program director of the Brookhaven Center for Translational Neuroimaging in Upton, N.Y. Researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the State University of New York at Stony Brook used positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and a tracer chemical that binds to a specific form of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO A) to track MAO A levels in both smokers and nonsmokers. With whole-body PET imaging, researchers could measure the concentration and movement of the radiotracer and MAO A, a subtype of the enzyme crucial to mood regulation and one that breaks down chemical compounds that elevate blood pressure, said the Society of Nuclear Medicine member.

In the study, “Comparison of Monoamine Oxidase A in Peripheral Organs in Nonsmokers and Smokers,” researchers traced the MAO A subtype in nine smokers and nine nonsmokers, discovering that MAO A was fairly well “intact” in all of the peripheral organs except in smokers’ lungs, said Fowler. Smokers had MAO A levels that were 50 percent lower than in nonsmokers, she said, noting that a prior study had also shown a significant reduction of MAO A in smokers’ brains.


MAO A breaks down many compounds that affect blood pressure, and the lung is a major metabolic organ in degrading some of these compounds, Fowler said. So reduced levels of MAO A in smokers’ lungs may be a significant factor contributing to some of the physiological effects of smoking, including changes in blood pressure and pulmonary function.

Smokers’ lungs also held onto the tracer chemical much longer than nonsmokers, and the delivery of tracer into the arterial blood supply was much lower for smokers, particularly for the first few minutes after being injected, Fowler added. This finding could imply that smokers and nonsmokers respond differently to other substances that enter the body via the bloodstream, including therapeutic drugs, anesthetics, abused substances and environmental agents—even nicotine.

Cigarette smoking, “the most damaging of all addictive substances,” remains the leading cause of preventable death and has negative health impacts on people at all stages of life, said Fowler, and has been in the headlines recently with the death of ABC “World News Tonight” anchorman Peter Jennings. Cigarette smoking accounts for 440,000 deaths each year in the United States, or nearly one of every five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking kills more Americans than AIDS, illegal drugs, alcohol, car accidents, suicides and murders combined and increases one’s chances of developing lung, bladder, esophageal and throat cancers; chronic lung diseases; and coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Fowler and her colleagues have been studying MAO for more than 30 years. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the National Institutes of Health have provided funding for this study, said Fowler. She added, “It’s important that the public know about the benefits derived from the DOE’s long-term investments in basic science—especially in radioisotope and radiotracer chemistry and imaging physics—that have played such an important role in introducing new nuclear medicine procedures into the practice of health care.”

“Comparison of Monoamine Oxidase A in Peripheral Organs in Nonsmokers and Smokers” appears in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, which is published by the Society of Nuclear Medicine. Fowler co-authored the article with Jean Logan, Ph.D., Colleen Shea, M.S., Victor Garza, M.S., Youwen Xu, M.S., Yu-Shin Ding, Ph.D., David Alexoff, BSE, and Donald Warner, all with Brookhaven National Laboratory’s chemistry department; Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., Frank Telang, M.D., Noelwah Netusil, RN, Pauline Carter, RN, Millard Jayne, RN, Payton King, M.S, and Paul Vaska, Ph.D., all with Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Medical Department; Nora D. Volkow, M.D., National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Md.; Wei Zhu, Ph.D., Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, State University of New York at Stony Brook; and Dinko Franceschi, M.D., Department of Radiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.snm.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>