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Lethal impacts of cigarette smoke in cultured tobacco cells

DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-9-8

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By employing the tobacco cells as model materials for cigarette smoke toxicity assay, the impacts of the combustion by-products such as nitrogen oxides could be highlighted as the toxic impacts of the plant-derived endogenous chemicals could be excluded in the plant cells.Cigarette smoke-induced cell death was assessed in tobacco cell suspension cultures in the presence and absence of pharmacological inhibitors.Cigarette smoke was effective in induction of cell death. The smoke-induced cell death could be partially prevented by addition of nitric oxide (NO) scavenger, suggesting the role for NO as the cell death mediator. Addition of NO donor to tobacco cells also resulted in development of partial cell death further confirming the role of NO as cell death mediator. Members of reactive oxygen species and calcium ion were shown to be protecting the cells from the toxic action of smoke-derived NO.In the United States, the toxic impacts of various chemicals to various organisms have been documented in the Ecotoxicology Database (ECOTOX) of the US EPA. The cigarette smoke is known to be toxic and thus harmful to human health [1], both at cellular [2] and genetic levels [3]. On the other hand, the impacts of cigarette smoke in various organisms including living plants have been poorly documented to date. In order to understand and generalize the toxic mechanism of cigarette smoke in living cells, comparison of the data between animal systems and other biological system such as microbial and plant systems is highly beneficial.Since the cigarette smoke is derived from combustion of tobacco leaves, the chemical components in the smoke must be the mixture of (i) chemical contents originally present in the tobacco leaves and (ii) the chemicals formed through combustion process (combustion by-products) [4]. Both former (such as nicotine, phenolics, etc.) and latter chemicals (such as hydrogen peroxide) are known to be harmful to human health [3]. However, it is natural to assu


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