Send to

Choose Destination
Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Jun 13;10:183. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00183. eCollection 2018.

Cigarette Smoke-Induced Cell Death Causes Persistent Olfactory Dysfunction in Aged Mice.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Division of Molecular Regulation of Inflammatory and Immune Diseases Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Tokyo University of Science, Chiba, Japan.


Introduction: Exposure to cigarette smoke is a cause of olfactory dysfunction. We previously reported that in young mice, cigarette smoke damaged olfactory progenitors and decreased mature olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), then, mature ORNs gradually recovered after smoking cessation. However, in aged populations, the target cells in ORNs by cigarette smoke, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which cigarette smoke impairs the regenerative ORNs, and the degree of ORN regeneration after smoking cessation remain unclear. Objectives: To explore the effects of cigarette smoke on the ORN cell system using an aged mouse model of smoking, and to investigate the extent to which smoke-induced damage to ORNs recovers following cessation of exposure to cigarette smoke in aged mice. Methods: We intranasally administered a cigarette smoke solution (CSS) to 16-month-old male mice over 24 days, then examined ORN existence, cell survival, changes of inflammatory cytokines in the olfactory epithelium (OE), and olfaction using histological analyses, gene analyses and olfactory habituation/dishabituation tests. Results: CSS administration reduced the number of mature ORNs in the OE and induced olfactory dysfunction. These changes coincided with an increase in the number of apoptotic cells and Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression and a decrease in Il6 expression. Notably, the reduction in mature ORNs did not recover even on day 28 after cessation of treatment with CSS, resulting in persistent olfactory dysfunction. Conclusion: In aged mice, by increasing ORN death, CSS exposure could eventually overwhelm the regenerative capacity of the OE, resulting in continued reduction in the number of mature ORNs and olfactory dysfunction.


aging; apoptosis; cigarette smoking; inflammatory cytokines; olfactory disfunction; olfactory epithelium; olfactory receptor neuron

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center