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Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jun 15;50(12):1787-93. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.03.019. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Biomarkers of oxidative damage in cigarette smokers: which biomarkers might reflect acute versus chronic oxidative stress?

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Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Cigarette smoking predisposes to the development of multiple diseases involving oxidative damage. We measured a range of oxidative damage biomarkers to understand which differ between smokers and nonsmokers and if the levels of these biomarkers change further during the act of smoking itself. Despite overnight abstinence from smoking, smokers had higher levels of plasma total and esterified F(2)-isoprostanes, hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid products (HETEs), F(4)-neuroprostanes, 7-ketocholesterol, and 24- and 27-hydroxycholesterol. Levels of urinary F(2)-isoprostanes, HETEs, and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine were also increased compared with age-matched nonsmokers. Several biomarkers (plasma free F(2)-isoprostanes, allantoin, and 7β-hydroxycholesterol and urinary F(2)-isoprostane metabolites) were not elevated. The smokers were then asked to smoke a cigarette; this acute smoking elevated plasma and urinary F(2)-isoprostanes, plasma allantoin, and certain cholesterol oxidation products compared to presmoking levels, but not plasma HETEs or urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. Smokers showed differences in plasma fatty acid composition. Our findings confirm that certain oxidative damage biomarkers are elevated in smokers even after a period of abstinence from smoking, whereas these plus some others are elevated after acute smoking. Thus, different biomarkers do not measure identical aspects of oxidative stress.

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