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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 1998 Nov;44(7):1025-33.

Advanced glycation endproducts and cigarette smoking.

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  • 1The Picower Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA.


The incidence of certain ageing sequelae such as lung and cardiovascular disease and cataract are higher in smokers than in non-smokers. We recently proposed that certain components of mainstream cigarette smoke can react with plasma and extracellular matrix proteins to form covalent adducts with many of the properties of advanced glycation endproducts (AGE). AGEs have been implicated previously in the pathogenesis of the end-organ complications of diabetes and ageing, including cataract, atherosclerosis and renal insufficiency. In these circumstances, AGEs arise in vivo from the non-enzymatic reaction of reducing sugars with amino groups. Over time the initial Schiff base and Amadori products that form gradually undergo dehydration and rearrangement to produce reactive, carbonyl containing compounds with characteristic fluorescence and covalent crosslinking properties. Recent studies indicate that in smokers, tobacco-derived AGEs accumulate on plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL), structural proteins present within the vascular wall, and the lens proteins of the eye. These data point to a new and significant source of Maillard products in the human environment, significantly broaden the role of Maillard chemistry in pathological processes, and provide new insight into the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and other diseases associated with tobacco usage.

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