Nicotine and the Link Between Smoking and Kidney Disease

Cigarette smoke (CS) is the most preventable cause of death and chronic disease in the United States.

In addition to being a risk factor for atherosclerosis and cancer, recent epidemiologic studies suggest that cigarette smoke promotes the progression of kidney disease.

The mechanisms by which cigarette smoke may accelerate some types of chronic kidney disease are currently unknown.

A new study, being published by the American Physiological Society (http://www.the-aps.org/), demonstrates for the first time that human mesangial cells (MC) – cells in the blood vessels of the kidneys – are endowed with nicotinic receptors (cells that interact with the nicotine in tobacco) and may play an active role in the development of certain kidney diseases

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