A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals that exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke in those who have recently received a transplant, results in graft rejection.
Led by Zhenhua Dai, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, researchers used mouse transplant models to investigate the impact of second hand smoke [SHS] on transplant survival and its mechanism of action.
Seven to eight mice per group were exposed to SHS and treated with or without medicines that could prevent a rejection of graft. They were exposed to SHS for four weeks before they were transplanted with cells from the kidney. SHS was terminated once the kidney cell grafts were rejected. Recipient mice were untreated or exposed to SHS. The analysis of graft survival was performed using log-rank tests.
Results showed that SHS indeed harms long-term graft survival. SHS hindered long-term grafted cell survival induced. These findings for the first time revealed an immunological mechanism underlying allograft rejection caused by the exposure to cigarette smoke.
“Many people are not aware of the gradual failure of transplanted organs or grafts that is caused by cigarette smoking, although they do know that smoking can cause cancer as well as respiratory diseases,” Dai notes. “Our findings will definitely promote the public awareness of the smoking problem with transplanted patients, which in turn could save their lives by either quitting smoking or avoiding exposure to second hand smoke after transplantation.”