The multiple faces of nicotine and its implications in tissue and wound repair

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany, NY, USA.
Experimental Dermatology (Impact Factor: 3.76). 07/2009; 18(6):497-505. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.00854.x
Source: PubMed


Nicotine, one of the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke has a highly debated effect on cell proliferation and tissue healing. Recent studies documented its pro-angiogenesis effects by stimulating endothelial cell alpha7-non-neronal nicotinic acetyl choline receptors (alpha7 N-nACHR). It is well known that individuals who smoke or have diabetes experience impaired wound healing although for different reasons. This review evaluates several current studies relating to nicotine's ability to mediate cellular activation, migration and angiogenesis in attempts to correlate these data with nicotine's ability to repair wounds in ischaemic tissue. While its beneficial effects are still under investigation, important findings regarding nicotine's acceleration of atherosclerosis, tumor angiogenesis, cell proliferation e and resistance to apoptosis put its systemic use into question. Based on the good and bad sides of nicotine, it is recommended to restrict its utility to local applications.

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Available from: Shaker Mousa, Sep 18, 2014
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    • "The long-term effects of fetal and neonatal nicotine exposure on cancer development are not well studied, but there is certainly biological plausibility to suggest that this may be an area of risk. Nicotine and its metabolites are known to both initiate and promote tumor growth (Catassi et al., 2008; Martin et al., 2009; Zheng et al., 2007). The fetus may be particularly vulnerable to these effects because of its reduced detoxification abilities (Perera et al., 2004). "
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