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Reduction of Protein Carbonyls From Saliva Exposed to Cigarette Smoke by an Antioxidant Complex in a Cigarette Filter

Theodore Hersh, MD, MACG, Abraham Z. Reznick, PhD & Rafael Nagler, DMD, PhD
Thione International, Inc., Atlanta, GA & Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Presented at the American Academy for Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, February 2002

Cigarette smoke (CS), which is injurious to salivary proteins, is associated with various oral pathologies and cancer. Previous studies have shown that saliva exposed to CS increases protein carbonyls from oxidants and aldehydes reacting with salivary proteins. Thiol antioxidants reduce CS induced carbonyls. This study evaluated the effects of a thiol antioxidant complex placed in the filter of a cigarette on salivary protein carbonyl levels.

Methods: Saliva was collected from non-smokers and exposed to CS from research (IR4F, University of Kentucky), conventional and same brand cigarettes, the latter with an antioxidant complex incorporated during the manufacture of the filter. The antioxidant complex in a liposome was composed of L-glutathione, N-acetyl-L-cysteine and L-selenomethionine. Protein carbonyls were assessed by standard biochemical technique measured in nmoles/mg protein, by Western blot analysis using anti-DNPH antibodies and by Thermochemiluminescence (TCL Lumitest, Ltd, Haifa, Israel) which measures photon signals from oxidated “excited” carbonyl species. Three different time points were taken at 300 seconds from TCL measurements.

Results: Production of protein carbonyls after CS exposure to the research and conventional cigarettes were significantly higher than from antioxidant treated CS. TCL showed lower levels of carbonyls from the antioxidant treated CS at the two-hour post exposure period compared to those elicited from the control cigarettes at the three different time points (50, 100, 150 seconds) of TCL excitation. Conclusions: An antioxidant complex in the filter of a cigarette neutralizes oxidants and volatile aldehydes that damage salivary proteins as evidenced by a reduction in the production of protein carbonyls. This antioxidant application in the filter of a cigarette may render inhaled cigarette smoke to be less toxic to smokers.

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