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The Involvement of Serotoninergic System in Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Relevant to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease



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The Involvement of Serotoninergic System in Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation by Kwok-Wai Lau
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This dissertation, "The Involvement of Serotoninergic System in Cigarette Smoke-induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: Relevant to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease" by Kwok-wai, Lau, 劉國威, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor in the development of age-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with chronic airway inflammation as a key feature. Currently, no effective treatment can reduce the protracted inflammation in the lung of COPD. Further research on the inflammatory mechanisms would therefore be important in determining new potential therapeutic targets in COPD. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in pulmonary functions and inflammatory responses. The serotoninergic system including serotonin transporter (SERT), serotonin receptors (5-HTR) and its metabolic enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) have been reported to associate with cigarette smoking and/or COPD. Blockade of serotonin receptor 2A (5-HTR2A) with its selective antagonist ketanserin has been shown to improve lung function in COPD patients. In this study, we hypothesize that the serotoninergic system is involved in cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress, inflammation and COPD. Exposure to cigarette smoke medium (CSM) caused the elevation of interleukin (IL)-8 levels in primary normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells and a human bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B) in vitro via activation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway. Besides, CSM was found to disrupt the glutathione (GSH) system, resulting in the translocation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) to the nucleus. Knock-down of Nrf2 by small interference RNA (siRNA) blocked CSM-induced IL-8 release. Pretreatment with ketanserin was found to attenuate CSM-induced IL-8 release by inhibiting the p38, ERK1/2, and Nrf2 signaling pathways, and by partially restoring the GSH system. On the other hand, CSM reduced MAO activity in BEAS-2B, indicating a reduced catabolism of 5-HT. Furthermore, 5-HT was found to share the common p38 and ERK1/2 signaling pathway with CSM in IL-8 release. In the cigarette smoke-exposed rat model, the GSH system in the lung was found to be disrupted compared to the sham-air control, supporting our in vitro findings. Interestingly, we found an increased MAO-A activity in the lung of cigarette smoke-exposed rats in comparison to sham air-exposed rats. The increased MAO-A activity in the lung was associated with the reduction of 5-HT levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung homogenates, while the increased metabolism of 5-HT may be involved in cigarette smoke-induced superoxide anion levels. On the other hand, serum, but not plasma level of 5-HT was elevated in cigarette smoke-exposed group, which may be due to platelet activation caused by cigarette smoke. In the clinical study, the elevated plasma 5-HT levels were found to be associated with an increased odds ratio for COPD and positively correlated with age in COPD patients. Furthermore, plasma 5-HT was also demonstrated to be a significant mediator on the relation between cigarette smoking and COPD. In summary, our study supports the hypothesis that the serotoninergic syste
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Created by
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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