Immunomodulatory effects of cigarette smoke

J Neuroimmunol. 1998 Mar 15;83(1-2):148-56. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(97)00231-2.


Cigarette smoke is a major health risk factor which significantly increases the incidence of diseases including lung cancer and respiratory infections. This increased susceptibility may result from cigarette smoke-induced impairment of the immune system. While the acute effects of cigarette smoke on the immune system are less clear, chronic exposure to cigarette smoke or nicotine causes T cell unresponsiveness. This apparent T cell anergy may account for or contribute to the immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties of cigarette smoke/nicotine. Nicotine-induced immunosuppression may result from its direct effects on lymphocytes, indirectly through its effects on the neuroendocrine system, or both.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / drug effects*
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / immunology
  • Nicotine / immunology*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / immunology*
  • Smoking / immunology*


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine