Cigaette Smoke: Protection of Alveolar Macrophages by Glutathione and Cysteine

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Science  15 Nov 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3855, pp. 810-811
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3855.810


Phagocytosis of bacteria by rabbit alveolar macrophages is inhibited quantitatively by cigarette smoke in vitro. This phagocytoxic effect was abolished by addition of 0.2 to 0.4 micromole of glutathione or cysteine per milliliter of cigarette smoke. Serum protein was required to obtain both the toxic effect of the smoke and the protective action of the sulfhydryl compounds. The protective role of the sulfhydryl agents suggests an oxidant action of the cigarette smoke on these pulmonary cells.

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