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Natural killer cell tumoricidal activity in cigarette smokers and in silicotics.
Newman LS; Kreiss K; Campbell PA
Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1991 Sep; 60(3):399-411
Alterations in natural killer (NK) cell number and function were examined in cigarette smokers and nonsmokers with silicosis, silica dust exposure without silicosis, or no exposure to rock dust. Blood NK cell number, percentage, and tumoricidal activity were measured in 120 hardrock miners, 57 of whom had radiographic evidence of silicosis, and in 33 community referents. There was a significant increase in leukocyte count and lymphocyte count in current smokers compared with former and never smokers; these cell counts were normal in silicotics and in those with silica dust exposure. No significant differences in NK cell number or percentage were found by flow cytometric analysis of smoking or dust exposure groups. NK tumoricidal activity, however, was significantly greater in cigarette smokers compared with former smokers and never smoker referent subjects. Although tumoricidal activity was elevated in silicotics, this was accounted for by the effect of cigarette smoking. The authors conclude that cigarette smoking appears to be associated with elevation of blood NK cell tumoricidal activity on a per cell basis and in the absence of any alteration in the absolute number of NK cells in the blood.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Occupational-health; Cigarette-smoking; Cell-function; Immunology; Cell-alteration; Silica-dusts; Dust-exposure; Silicate-miners; Occupational-exposure
Medicine National Jewish Hosp/res Ctr 3800 East Colfax Avenue Denver, Colo 80206
Issue of Publication
Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology
National Jewish Ctr for Immnlgy/resp Med, Denver, Colorado
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division