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Impact of Smoking on Human Natural Killer Cell Activity: A Large Cohort Study

 Yoon Suk Jung  ;  Jung Ho Park  ;  Dong Il Park  ;  Chong Il Sohn  ;  Jae Myun Lee  ;  Tae Il Kim 
 JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, Vol.25(1) : 13-20, 2020-03 
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Cotinine ; Natural killer cell activity ; Smoking
Some studies have reported a decrease in the natural killer (NK) cell activity in smokers. However, large-scale data on the relationship between NK cell activity and smoking are unavailable. A cross-sectional study was performed on 12,249 asymptomatic examinees who underwent an NK cell activity test, between January 2016 and May 2017. The test quantitated the amount of interferon-γ secreted into the plasma by NK cells, using a patented stimulatory cytokine. The mean age of the study population was 39.1 years, and the proportions of "never", "former", and "current" smokers were 65.5%, 20.9%, and 13.6%, respectively. Current smokers (1,422 pg/mL) had a lower median level of NK cell activity than never smokers (1,504 pg/mL, P = 0.039) and former smokers (1,791 pg/mL, P < 0.001). Among current smokers, NK cell activity decreased with increase in the number of cigarettes smoked among current smokers (median, 1,537, 1,429, and 1,175 pg/mL at <10, 10-19, and ≥ 20 pack-years, respectively; P < 0.001). Additionally, it decreased linearly with increasing quartiles of cotinine levels (median, 1,707, 1,636, 1,348, and 1,292 pg/mL at cotinine levels < 292, 292-879, 880-1,509, and ≥ 1,510 ng/mL, respectively; r = -0.122, P < 0.001). NK cell activity was lower in current smokers. It also decreased with an increase in the number of cigarettes smoked, and it was negatively correlated with cotinine levels among current smokers. Our findings indicate a clear relationship between smoking and decreased NK cell activity.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Microbiology (미생물학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Tae Il(김태일) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4807-890X
Lee, Jae Myun(이재면) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5273-3113
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