Author(s): Dubick MA, Keen CL
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Abstract Both altered trace element metabolism and cigarette smoking have been proposed to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Thus, it is important to identify the mechanisms by which cigarette smoke alters trace element metabolism. In the present study, serum trace element concentrations were measured in 19 smokers and 13 nonsmokers. In parallel studies, data from rats treated with 50 mg of nicotine over a 21-d period tested the hypothesis that nicotine induced altered trace element metabolism observed in smokers. Serum Cu and Zn concentrations were significantly higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. Serum nicotine concentrations in rats were comparable to those observed in heavy smokers, but serum trace element concentrations were not significantly altered by nicotine treatment. Tissue trace element concentrations were also not markedly affected by nicotine; however, trace element ratios in liver, kidney, lung, and brain were significantly altered by nicotine treatment. In addition, nicotine-treatment resulted in significantly lower liver glutathione concentrations and higher Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase activity than in controls. These data show that a 50-mg infusion of nicotine over 21 d does not produce in rats the serum trace element abnormalities observed in cigarette smokers. However, nicotine did affect the trace element relationships between tissues as well as components of the free radical defense system.
This article was published in Biol Trace Elem Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy