Cigarette smoke-exposed Candida albicans increased chitin production and modulated human fibroblast cell responses

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:963156. doi: 10.1155/2014/963156. Epub 2014 Sep 11.


The predisposition of cigarette smokers for development of respiratory and oral bacterial infections is well documented. Cigarette smoke can also contribute to yeast infection. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) on C. albicans transition, chitin content, and response to environmental stress and to examine the interaction between CSC-pretreated C. albicans and normal human gingival fibroblasts. Following exposure to CSC, C. albicans transition from blastospore to hyphal form increased. CSC-pretreated yeast cells became significantly (P < 0.01) sensitive to oxidation but significantly (P < 0.01) resistant to both osmotic and heat stress. CSC-pretreated C. albicans expressed high levels of chitin, with 2- to 8-fold recorded under hyphal conditions. CSC-pretreated C. albicans adhered better to the gingival fibroblasts, proliferated almost three times more and adapted into hyphae, while the gingival fibroblasts recorded a significantly (P < 0.01) slow growth rate but a significantly higher level of IL-1β when in contact with CSC-pretreated C. albicans. CSC was thus able to modulate both C. albicans transition through the cell wall chitin content and the interaction between C. albicans and normal human gingival fibroblasts. These findings may be relevant to fungal infections in the oral cavity in smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Candida albicans
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chitin / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / microbiology*
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Gingiva / drug effects
  • Gingiva / microbiology*
  • Gingiva / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Chitin