Cigarette smoke-induced pancreatic damage - Experimental data

Uwe A. Wittel, Ulrich T. Hopt, Surinder K. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Epidemiological data clearly indicate that cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk for developing chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Despite of this clear epidemiological correlation, cigarette smoke-induced pancreatic damage has only been investigated in a small number of experimental studies. Methods: Experimental studies examining the effect of cigarette smoke or cigarette smoke constituents on the pancreas were reviewed. Results: Recent data indicate that smoking also induces chronic pancreatic inflammation in rodents within a period of 12 weeks upon exposure with environmental cigarette smoke. Supported by the finding that morphologic pancreatic damage is also induced by nicotine treatment, cigarette smoke-induced pancreatic damage is likely to be caused by a disturbance of regulation of exocrine pancreas. The morphological alterations, however, induced by nicotine, are less pronounced and therefore, other substances and pathophysiologic mechanisms, such as carcinogen action or cigarette smoke-induced reduction of anti-protease activity, are likely to aggravate pancreatic damage upon cigarette smoke inhalation. Conclusion: These data indicate that several constituents of cigarette smoke induce a disturbance of pancreatic function. This multifactorial event induces morphologic pancreatic damage upon cigarette smoke exposure in rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Carcinogen
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Nicotine
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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