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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 CORESTA Congress, September 2002

SUMMARY
Cigarette smoke (CS), which is injurious to salivary proteins, is associated with various oral pathologies and cancer. Saliva is the first body fluid to come in contact with inhaled CS and helps prevent damage. Previous studies revealed that saliva exposed to CS increases protein carbonyls from oxidants and aldehydes reacting with salivary proteins and that thiol antioxidants reduce CS induced carbonyls. This study evaluated the effects of an antioxidant complex placed in the filter of a cigarette on salivary carbonyl levels compared to control cigarette.

Methods: Saliva was collected from fasting, non-smokers and exposed to CS from research (IR4F), control and same brand cigarettes which had an antioxidant complex incorporated during the manufacture of the filter. Five pairs of cigarettes were tested. The antioxidant complex was composed of L-glutathione, N-acetyl-L-cysteine and L-selenomethionine. Protein carbonyls were measured in nmoles/mg protein, by Western blot analysis using anti-DNPH antibodies and by Thermochemiluminescence (TCL) which measures photon signals from oxidated “excited” species. Results: Production of protein carbonyls after CS exposure to the research and control cigarettes were significantly higher than from “antioxidant” treated cigarettes in four of the five cigarette pairs. TCL also showed lower levels of electronically “excited” species from the “antioxidant” cigarettes compared to those elicited from research and control cigarettes in the same four brands.

Discussion: CS oxidants and aldehydes alter plasma and salivary proteins and increase risks of tobacco related diseases. The elevation of protein carbonyls reflects reaction of CS with sulfhydryl groups. This antioxidant complex reduces carbonyls from proteins.

Conclusions: An antioxidant complex in the filter of a cigarette neutralizes oxidants and aldehydes that damage salivary proteins as evidenced by a reduction in the production of protein carbonyls and may thus render CS to be less harmful. This antioxidant application in the filter of a cigarette may constitute a reduced risk product for smokers.

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