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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nicotine-induced respiratory effects of cigarette smoke in dogs.

We report that nicotine is responsible for both a blood-borne stimulation of the respiratory center and a direct effect on intrathoracic airway tone in dogs. We introduced cigarette smoke into the lungs of donor dogs and injected arterial blood obtained from them into the circulation of recipient dogs to show that a blood-borne material increased breathing and airway smooth muscle tone. Smoke from cigarettes containing 2.64 mg of nicotine was effective; that from cigarettes containing 0.42 mg of nicotine was not. Nicotine, in doses comparable to the amounts absorbed from smoke, also increased breathing and tracheal smooth muscle tension when injected into the vertebral circulation of recipient dogs. Finally, blockade of nicotine receptors in the central nervous system and in the airway parasympathetic ganglia inhibited the effects of inhaled cigarette smoke and intravenous nicotine on the respiratory center and on bronchomotor tone. We conclude that nicotine absorbed from cigarette smoke is the main cause of cigarette smoke-induced bronchoconstriction. It caused central respiratory stimulation, resulting in increased breathing and airway smooth muscle tension, and had a direct effect on airway parasympathetic ganglia as well.[1]


  1. Nicotine-induced respiratory effects of cigarette smoke in dogs. Hartiala, J.J., Mapp, C., Mitchell, R.A., Gold, W.M. J. Appl. Physiol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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