Cigarette smoke impairment of human lymphocyte function by inhibition of transglutaminase

J Intern Med. 1989 Aug;226(2):73-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.1989.tb01358.x.


The in-vitro and in-vivo effects of cigarette smoke were studied in human peripheral blood lymphocytes by applying a method for the capping of beta 2-microglobulin- or phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated lymphocyte transformation (measured as (3H)thymidine incorporation) involving the transglutaminase pseudosubstrate monodansylthiacadaverine (MDTC), whose presence resulted in significantly reduced capping and (3H)thymidine incorporation in a concentration-dependent manner. The addition of dimethyl sulphoxide-soluble particles from cigarette smoke to lymphocytes in vitro significantly reduced the capping ability and the PHA-induced (3H)thymidine incorporation. Whereas no significant change in MDTC-dependent capping inhibition was seen in lymphocytes from smokers after 10 d abstinence from smoking. there was a marked decrease in (3H)thymidine incorporation in lymphocytes from smokers after smoking three cigarettes following 10 h abstinence. The tentative conclusion is that exposure to cigarette smoke, or smoke extract, impairs MDTC-dependent capping inhibition and PHA-stimulated lymphocyte transformation by transglutaminase inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cadaverine / analogs & derivatives
  • Cadaverine / pharmacology
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Capping
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Transglutaminases / metabolism*


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Smoke
  • monodansylthiacadaverine
  • Transglutaminases
  • Cadaverine
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide