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Biogerontology. 2013 Oct;14(5):503-11. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013-9454-3. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

A cigarette component acrolein induces accelerated senescence in human diploid fibroblast IMR-90 cells.

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Center for Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine, The Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology and Frontier Institute of Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China.


Cigarette smoking causes various diseases, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, and reduces life span, though the mechanisms are not well understood. We hypothesize that smoking may cause cellular mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, leading to aging acceleration. In the present study, we tested the effects of acrolein, a major representative smoking toxicant, on human lung fibroblast IMR-90 cells with regard to cellular senescence, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial function. The results showed that subacute treatment with low dose of acrolein induces the following events compared to the control cells: cell senescence demonstrated by increases in the activity of β-galactosidase, the higher expression of p53 and p21, decreases in DNA synthesis, Sirt1 expression, and telomere length; oxidative stress occurred as the increases in the production of reactive oxygen species, DNA damage, and protein oxidation; and mitochondrial dysfunction shown as decreases in the mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC-1 alpha and mitochondria complex I, II, III, and V. These results suggest that acrolein may accelerate aging through the mechanism of increasing oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

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