Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 23–28
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Environmental and

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 23–28

Original Article

The effect of chronic cigarette smoking on microvascular function, insulin resistance and inflammatory state

Indra Miķelsone1*, Inga Bormane1, Zane Simsone2, Antra Jurka1,3, Pēteris Tretjakovs1,3,4
1Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Latvia, Ojara Vaciesa street 4, Riga LV-1004, Latvia
2Department of Human and Animal Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Kronvalda Bulv. 4, Riga LV-1586, Latvia
3Centre of Endocrinology, Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Pilsonu street 13, Riga LV-1002, Latvia
4Chair of Human Physiology and Biochemistry, Riga Stradins University, Dzirciema street 16, Riga LV-1007, Latvia
*Corresponding author, E-mail: indra.mikelsone@gmail.com


Cigarette smoking, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, can induce proinflammatory state and endothelial injury – the earliest manifestations of atherosclerotic changes. The aim of the study was to assess cutaneous vascular reactivity, insulin resistance and circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines in 20 healthy habitual smokers and 24 healthy non-smokers. The groups were matched for age. We used laser Doppler imaging with iontophoretic application of 1% acethylcholine solution and local heating 44°C on the dorsum of the palm. Serum monocyte chemotactic protein-1, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 were measured by xMAP technology. Insulin resdistance was assessed by HOMA-IR method. Local heating-induced neurally-mediated and endothelium-dependent vasodilatation was significantly decreased in elderly smokers vs. elderly non-smokers (p < 0.05). Young smokers showed significantly reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation vs. young non-smokers (p < 0.05). Ach-induced vasodilatation was significantly decreased in the elderly smokers and elderly non-smokers groups vs. young smokers and young non-smokers groups (p < 0.05). The level of tumour necrosis factor-alpha was significantly higher in both groups of smokers vs. non-smokers (p < 0.05). The level of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 was slightly higher in smokers. Only the elderly smokers group exhibited a tendency to higher values of HOMA-IR. Data showed that long-lasting cigarette smoking significantly impairs peripheral microvascular function due to increased inflammatory response.

Key words: cytokines, cigarette smoking, endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, insulin resistance, microvascular function.

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 23–28
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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University of Latvia

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