Changes in salivary proteome before and after cigarette smoking in smokers compared to sham smoking in nonsmokers: A pilot study

Indu Sinha, Jennifer Modesto, Nicolle M. Krebs, Anne E. Stanley, Vonn A. Walter, John P. Richie, Joshua E. Muscat, Raghu Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease. Although smoking results in an acute effect of relaxation and positive mood through dopamine release, smoking is thought to increase stress symptoms such as heart rate and blood pressure from nicotine-induced effects on the HPA axis and increased cortisol. Despite the importance in understanding the mechanisms in smoking maintenance, little is known about the overall protein and physiological response to smoking. There may be multiple functions involved that if identified might help in improving methods for behavioral and pharmacological interventions. Therefore, our goal for this pilot study was to identify proteins in the saliva that change in response to an acute smoking event versus acute sham smoking event in smokers and non-smokers, respectively. METHODS We employed the iTRAQ technique followed by Mass Spectrometry to identify differentially expressed proteins in saliva of smokers and non-smokers after smoking cigarettes and sham smoking, respectively. We also validated some of the salivary proteins by ELISA or western blotting. In addition, salivary cortisol and salivary amylase (sAA) activity were measured. RESULTS In all, 484 salivary proteins were identified. Several proteins were elevated as well as decreased in smokers compared to non-smokers. Among these were proteins associated with stress response including fibrinogen alpha, cystatin A and sAA. Our investigation also highlights methodological considerations in study design, sampling and iTRAQ analysis. CONCLUSIONS We suggest further investigation of other differentially expressed proteins in this study including ACBP, A2ML1, APOA4, BPIB1, BPIA2, CAH1, CAH6, CYTA, DSG1, EST1, GRP78, GSTO1, sAA, SAP, STAT, TCO1, and TGM3 that might assist in improving methods for behavioral and pharmacological interventions for smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number138336
JournalTobacco Induced Diseases
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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