Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia

Philip L. Leopold, Michael J. O'Mahony, X. Julie Lian, Ann E. Tilley, Ben Gary Harvey, Ronald Crystal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Whereas cilia damage and reduced cilia beat frequency have been implicated as causative of reduced mucociliary clearance in smokers, theoretically mucociliary clearance could also be affected by cilia length. Based on models of mucociliary clearance predicting that cilia length must exceed the 6-7 mm airway surface fluid depth to generate force in the mucus layer, we hypothesized that cilia height may be decreased in airway epithelium of normal smokers compared to nonsmokers. Methodology/Principal Findings: Cilia length in normal nonsmokers and smokers was evaluated in aldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded endobronchial biopsies, and air-dried and hydrated samples were brushed from human airway epithelium via fiberoptic bronchoscopy. In 28 endobronchial biopsies, healthy smoker cilia length was reduced by 15% compared to nonsmokers (p<0.05). In 39 air-dried samples of airway epithelial cells, smoker cilia length was reduced by 13% compared to nonsmokers (p<0.0001). Analysis of the length of individual, detached cilia in 27 samples showed that smoker cilia length was reduced by 9% compared to nonsmokers (p<0.05). Finally, in 16 fully hydrated, unfixed samples, smoker cilia length was reduced 7% compared to nonsmokers (p<0.05). Using genome-wide analysis of airway epithelial gene expression we identified 6 cilia-related genes whose expression levels were significantly reduced in healthy smokers compared to healthy nonsmokers. Conclusions/Significance: Models predict that a reduction in cilia length would reduce mucociliary clearance, suggesting that smoking-associated shorter airway epithelial cilia play a significant role in the pathogenesis of smoking-induced lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8157
JournalPLoS One
Volume4
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cilia
cilia
Smoking
Biopsy
Mucociliary Clearance
Gene expression
Bridge clearances
Pulmonary diseases
Air
Aldehydes
Paraffin
air drying
Genes
biopsy
epithelium
Epithelium
bronchoscopy
Fluids
Gene Expression
sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Leopold, P. L., O'Mahony, M. J., Julie Lian, X., Tilley, A. E., Harvey, B. G., & Crystal, R. (2009). Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia. PLoS One, 4(12), [e8157]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008157

Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia. / Leopold, Philip L.; O'Mahony, Michael J.; Julie Lian, X.; Tilley, Ann E.; Harvey, Ben Gary; Crystal, Ronald.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 4, No. 12, e8157, 01.12.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leopold, PL, O'Mahony, MJ, Julie Lian, X, Tilley, AE, Harvey, BG & Crystal, R 2009, 'Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia', PLoS One, vol. 4, no. 12, e8157. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008157
Leopold PL, O'Mahony MJ, Julie Lian X, Tilley AE, Harvey BG, Crystal R. Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia. PLoS One. 2009 Dec 1;4(12). e8157. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008157
Leopold, Philip L. ; O'Mahony, Michael J. ; Julie Lian, X. ; Tilley, Ann E. ; Harvey, Ben Gary ; Crystal, Ronald. / Smoking is associated with shortened airway Cilia. In: PLoS One. 2009 ; Vol. 4, No. 12.
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