Although nicotine has been implicated as a potential factor in the pathogenesis of human cancer, its mechanisms of action regarding cancer development remain largely unknown. HL-60 cells were used to investigate the effects of a short-term treatment with nicotine at concentrations found in the blood of smokers. The findings show that nicotine induces chromatin decondensation, histone H3 acetylation and up-regulation of the c-Jun transcription factor mRNA. This increase is inhibited by mecamylamine, a nicotinic receptor antagonist, suggesting that nicotine alters cellular function directly via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and may then play a role in cell physiology and tumor promotion.
"In fact, it is now well established that as a consequence of cocaine/amphetamine, alcohol or nicotine exposure, changes in the pattern of histone acetylation/deacetylation can be detected in different brain areas, and some of these changes occur in a drug-specific manner   . Furthermore, the analysis of the temporal dynamics as well as the transient or permanent nature of these changes, and the characteristics of the brain areas where they occur have allowed to link these molecular events to processes such as development of tolerance to the drug  and withdrawal manifestations  , among others. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toluene is a volatile organic solvent with addictive potential that exhibits similarities in its physiological effects and modes of action to other addictive drugs. Despite its widespread abuse, the molecular mechanisms driving the response and adaptation of the organism to this drug are not fully understood. In recent years, different epigenetic mechanisms that modulate gene expression have been shown to be associated to cocaine, amphetamine and alcohol misuse-induced alterations in neuronal function. For example, it has been demonstrated that drug consumption induces variations in histone acetylation levels in brain reward regions and these play a relevant role on the abuse-associated behavioral plasticity. In order to decipher whether repeated toluene exposure could mediate epigenetic changes in the rat brain, we here analyzed the acetylation pattern of histones H3 and H4 in three brain areas that have been previously associated to substance abuse reward pathways: the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc), the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) and the Central Amygdala (CeA). Using immunofluorescence analysis of brain sections with specific antibodies that recognize the acetylated forms of histones H3 and H4, we demonstrate that chronic toluene inhalation differentially modifies histone H3 and H4 acetylation in the NAc and the VTA while no effect is observed in the CeA. Our results suggest that the activity of chromatin-modifying enzymes such as histone de-acetylases (HDACs) in certain brain areas are responsive to toluene inhalation and might be crucial mediators in the addictive response to toluene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitochondrion is the organelle responsible for generation of most usable energy in a cell. It also plays an important role in a series of physiological processes such as apoptosis and proliferation. Although previous studies have demonstrated that nicotine modulates the morphology and function of mitochondria, the mechanism(s) underlying these effects is largely unknown. In this study, using a microarray consisting of 4793 clones derived from a mouse dopamine cDNA library, we profiled the gene expression patterns for six brain regions (amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, striatum and ventral tegmental area) of female Sprague-Dawley rats subjected to nicotine treatment for 7 days through osmotic minipump infusion. We identified a number of genes and pathways, including components of the electron transport system of mitochondria, such as cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Mt-co1), Mt-co2, Mt-co3, cytochrome b (Mt-cyb), mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase 4 (Mt-nd4), and Mt-nd6, that were significantly modulated by nicotine in multiple brain regions. Bioinformatics analysis provided evidence that Gene Ontology categories related to the electron transport system were overrepresented in each brain region. Finally, the results from the microarray analysis were verified by quantitative RT-PCR for four representative genes. Together, our findings imply that mitochondria are involved in neuronal adaptation to chronic nicotine exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by irreversible progressive airflow limitation related to tobacco smoking. This limitation is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways and lung parenchyma and is associated with increased activity of parasympathetic system. The most effective bronchodilators in COPD are muscarinic receptor antagonists (MRA), which reverse, at least in part, compromised respiratory function. MRA also contribute to control inflammatory processes via interactions with inflammatory signaling molecules. The use of the long-acting cholinolytic bronchodilatator - tiotropium, with high affinity to M3 receptors, is suggested as a first line maintenance treatment in COPD patients.
In this study we assessed M3 receptor protein expression in induced sputum of 27 stable COPD patients before and after therapy consisting of 18 μg once daily tiotropium for 12 weeks. Lung function tests including spirometry, lung volumes, and DLCO were performed before and after therapy in all COPD patients. The patients were subjected to the sputum induction procedures before and after therapy. Sputum cells were isolated, sample-specific cell profiles were characterized, and the cells were processed to isolate pure cytosolic fractions. Cytosolic M3 protein and HDAC2 levels and nuclear acetylated histone H3 (AcH3) expression was quantified using specific antibodies against human proteins and Western blot with enhanced luminescence detection.
Therapy significantly increased the mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) volume (P<0.05). The mean expression of M3 protein was higher by 37% after therapy (P<0.05), HDAC2 expression was not altered, while AcH3 level was increased by about 90% (P<0.01), compared with the corresponding data before therapy. HDAC2 expression before therapy was positively correlated with AcH3 expression (r = 0.74), while after therapy no correlation was detected. FEV1, FCV, and cytosolic M3 protein expression did not correlate with other biochemical parameters tested.
Twelve weeks of tiotropium therapy in COPD patients improves clinical indices of lung function and involves alterations in sputum cell chromatin acetylation and also increased cholinergic M3 receptor internalization.
European journal of medical research 11/2010; 15 Suppl 2:64-7. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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