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Antioxidant Complex in a Cigarette Filter Reduces the Level of Protein Carbonyls of Saliva Exposed to Cigarette Smoke

Abraham Z. Reznick, PhD, Rafael Nagler, DMD, PhD & Theodore Hersh, MD, MACG
Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel & Thione International, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Presented at the ROSNOS in St. Petersburg, July 2002

Inhaling cigarette smoke (CS) is probably the major cause of increased oral pathologies and cancer encountered in heavy smokers. In previous studies it was shown that oxidants and aldehydes present in CS increased the level of salivary protein carbonyls. Addition of thiol antioxidants could reduce the CS induced carbonyls. This study evaluated the effects of a thiol antioxidant complex placed in cigarette’s filters on salivary protein carbonyl levels. Saliva was collected from non-smokers and exposed to CS from research (IR4F, University of Kentucky), conventional and name 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 during 300 seconds of TCL measurements.

Results: Production of protein carbonyls after CS exposure to the research and conventional cigarettes were significantly higher than from antioxidant-treated cigarettes. 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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