Effects of cigarette smoking on blood levels of leukotrienes and plasma levels of complements C3a and C5a in healthy volunteers

Arch Environ Health. 1988 Sep-Oct;43(5):371-4. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1988.9934951.


We reported previously that cigarette smoking induces bronchoconstriction. In the present investigation we measured the level of peripheral venous blood leukotrienes, which are known to cause marked bronchoconstriction, and plasma complement C3a and C5a, which are known to have chemotactic and anaphylatoxic activities. All of these showed a significant increase after cigarette smoking. These data may suggest that the activation of complement induces the release of leukotrienes, and that these leukotrienes cause bronchoconstriction. It appears likely, therefore, that cigarette smoking induces an increase in peripheral venous blood leukotrienes and complement C3a and C5a, and that such an increase may elicit bronchoconstriction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Complement C3 / analysis*
  • Complement C3a
  • Complement C5 / analysis*
  • Complement C5a
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Humans
  • Leukotrienes / blood*
  • Leukotrienes / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Smoking*


  • Complement C3
  • Complement C5
  • Leukotrienes
  • Complement C3a
  • Complement C5a