Background: Smoking impairs neovascularization, possibly, through the impaired function of peripheral blood-derived mononuclear cells (PB-MNCs). Thus, the mechanism of impaired function of PB-MNCs caused by chronic smoking was examined, and whether vitamin C reversed the malfunction of PB-MNCs in smokers was investigated.
Methods and results: The cohort comprised 27 healthy male volunteers (16 smokers and 11 age-matched non-smokers). For evaluation of the colony-forming activity of PB-MNCs, the number of endothelial colony-forming units (e-CFUs) was counted in a culture assay. Migration activity of PB-MNCs was evaluated by the modified Boyden chamber method. In smokers, the number of e-CFUs was reduced to 56% and migratory activity of PB-MNCs to 40% compared with non-smokers (p<0.01). The urinary level of 8-isoprostane, an oxidative stress marker, was greater in smokers than in non-smokers (p<0.05). There was an inverse correlation between migratory activity of PB-MNCs but not between the number of e-CFUs and urinary level of 8-isoprostane. Furthermore, oral administration of vitamin C for 2 weeks ameliorated the impaired migratory activity of PB-MNCs in smokers.
Conclusion: Chronic smoking impairs the function of PB-MNCs. Smoking-induced oxidative stress may be involved in impaired migratory activity of PB-MNCs.