Smoking-induced alterations in platelet membrane fluidity and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity in chronic cigarette smokers

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2010 Jun 30;17(6):619-27. doi: 10.5551/jat.2857. Epub 2010 Feb 13.


Aim: Cigarette smoking is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Platelet adhesiveness and aggregation increases as a result of smoking. Cigarette smoking modifies haemostatic parameters via thrombosis with a consequently higher rate of cardiovascular events, but smoking-induced alterations of platelet membrane fluidity and other changes have not been studied.

Methods: Thirty experimental and control subjects (mean age 35+/-8) were selected for the study. Experimental subjects had smoked 10+/-2 cigarettes per day for 7-10 years. The plasma lipid profile, platelet carbonyls, sulfhydryl groups, Na(+)/k(+)-ATPase activity, fluidity using a fluorescent probe 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH), total cholesterol and phospholipids as well individual phospholipids were determined.

Results: Increases in the platelet membrane cholesterol phospholipid (C/P) ratio, phosphotidylethanolamine, phosphotidylserine with decreased phosphotidylcholine, Na(+)/k(+)-ATPase activity, fluidity and no significant change in phosphotidylinositol and sphingomylein, as well as increases in plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, protein carbonyls with decreased HDL-cholesterol and sulfhydryl groups were observed in cigarette smokers. Platelet membrane total phospholipids were positively correlated with plasma LDL-cholesterol (r=0.568) and VLDL-cholesterol (r=0.614) in cigarette smokers.

Conclusions: Increased plasma LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol might have resulted in the increased C/P ratio and decreased platelet membrane fluidity of cigarette smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Platelets / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, VLDL / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity*
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / blood
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cholesterol, VLDL
  • Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase