UCD Conway Logo Cigarette smoke is extremely harmful for humans as it not only damages the lungs, but also affects the prefrontal cortex. And here is another investigation which further enlightens about the possible adverse effects of smoking. A latest study by the UCD scientists suggests that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) has a specific effect on a minor subset of immune cells that decline the ability to tackle disease. Cigarette smoke may also play a major role in the development of cancer.

The study was conducted on a group of healthy individuals who smoked 20 cigarettes each day and the same age group of non-smoking individuals. Experts compared the number and function of iNKT cells in both the groups. It was noted that cigarette smokers have less iNKT cell numbers than non-smokers. Participants who were smoking possibly had significant defects in the ability of iNKT cells to produce cytokines and kill target cells.

It seems that cigarette smoke has multiple negative effects on innate immune cells that are vital for tumor surveillance and protection against infection. Apart from raising the threat of developing cancer, smoke may also damage the body’s ability to fight the disease effectively. Professor Donal O’Shea and colleagues mention that carcinogens in cigarette smoke have a direct impact on lung cancer and several other malignancies.

The study is published in the journal Clinical Immunology.