Cigarette smoke produces a high level of acrolein, which is thought to be pathogenically involved in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The present study investigated the pathological role of acrolein in the development of COPD.
Acrolein concentration was measured in plasmas obtained from 47 patients with COPD and 18 current smokers without COPD, and in supernatants of homogenized lung tissues obtained from 10 never-smokers, 8 current smokers, and 8 patients with COPD by high-performance liquid chromatography. Oxidant status and antioxidant activity were measured using derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolite (d-ROM) and bio-antioxidant power (BAP), respectively, in the Free Radical Elective Evaluation FRAS4 system. In addition, immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the over-presentation of acrolein in lung tissues of patients with COPD.
Plasma concentrations of acrolein were significantly higher in the patients with COPD than the non-COPD smokers ( P<0.001), which significantly correlated with the oxidant status in patients with COPD (R=0.69, P<0.05). Similar pathological alterations in acrolein concentrations were found in the lung tissue supernatants of patients with COPD, which significantly correlated with the oxidant status in patients with COPD. Furthermore, acrolein was strongly expressed in the lung tissues of patients with COPD.