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Biomed Environ Sci. 2004 Jun;17(2):121-34.

Damaging effect of cigarette smoke extract on primary cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and its mechanism.

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  • 1Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China.



To investigate the cellular effects of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on primarily cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC).


The effects of CSE (5%-20%) and nicotine (10(-4) mol/L) on HUVEC viability, proliferation, angiogenesis and apoptosis were observed.


CSE decreased HUVEC survival rate and angiogenesis after 24 h as well as its proliferation after 48 h in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, CSE induced apoptosis of HUVEC as indicated in condensation of nuclear chromatin and the presence of hypodiploid DNA. HUVEC incubated with CSE for 24 h gave a significant decrease in the expression of Bcl-2 as well as the decline in the Bcl-2/Bax ratio accompanied with the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and excess cytosolic calcium. Our study also observed that p53 protein level decreased, rather than increased in cells treated with CSE. Nicotine had no discernible inhibitory effects on the above indices of HUVEC.


Exposure to CSE other than nicotine causes inhibition of viability, proliferation and differentiation of HUVEC. CSE-induced HUVEC injury is mediated in partthrough accelerated apoptosis but independent of p53 pathway. It appears that mitochondria have played a key role in the apoptosis of HUVEC induced by CSE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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