Regulation of nicotine-induced apoptosis of pulmonary artery endothelial cells by treatment of N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E

Demiralay R., Guersan N., Erdem H.

HUMAN & EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.26, no.7, pp.595-602, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0960327106070079551
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.595-602
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: No


This study investigated the frequency of apoptosis in rat pulmonary artery endothelial cells after intraperitoneal nicotine injection, examining the roles of the inflammatory markers myeloperoxidase [MPO] tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in nicotine-induced vascular damage and the protective effects of two known antioxidant agents, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and vitamin E. Female Wistar rats were divided into four groups, each composed of nine rats: negative control group, positive control group, NAC-treated group (500 mg/kg), and vitamin E-treated group (500 mg/kg). Nicotine was intraperitoneally injected at a dosage of 0.6 mg/kg for 21 days. Following nicotine injection, the antioxidants were administered orally; treatment was continued until the rats were killed. Lung tissue samples were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) for histopathological assessments. Apoptosis level in endothelial cells was determined by using TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick endlabelling) method. Staining of cytoplasmic TNF-alpha and VEGF in endothelial cells, and perivascular MPO activity were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The treatments with NAC and vitamin E significantly reduced the rate of nicotine-induced endothelial cell apoptosis. NAC and vitamin E significantly reduced the increases in the local production of TNF-a and VEGF, and perivascular MPO activity. This findings suggest that NAC can be as effective as vitamin E in protecting against nicotine-induced endothelial cell apoptosis.