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Addict Behav. 2007 Jan;32(1):1-8. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Disruption in Th1/Th2 immune response in young adult smokers.

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  • 1Department of Biobehavioral Health, 315 East Health and Human Development Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-10 cytokines, measures of Th1 and Th2 immunity, were examined in 20 healthy nonsmokers (12 males, 8 females) and 19 smokers (11 males, 8 females), aged 19-41 years (23.46+/-0.82 years). Nonsmokers came to the laboratory once; smokers came to the laboratory after ad lib smoking and following 24-h smoking abstinence. Salivary cotinine and expired CO confirmed smoking status. Plasma was collected at the end of each lab session and assayed for peripheral IFN-gamma and IL-10 levels. Among smokers, peripheral IFN-gamma, IL-10, or IFN-gamma/IL-10 ratio levels did not change in response to 24-h smoking abstinence. IFN-gamma levels and IFN-gamma/IL-10 ratios were higher among female smokers while smoking and following 24-h abstinence compared to male smokers in both conditions and compared to male and female nonsmokers. There was no sex or smoking status difference in IL-10 levels. Results suggest that cigarette smoking may have at least short-term damaging effects on the body's normal immune balance, particularly for women.

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