Aim: The effect of cigarette smoke on the aorta of Wistar rats was investigated for possible enzymatic destruction.
Methods: Thirty six Wistar rats 200±10g were randomly grouped into 3 of 12 rats in each group. One group was exposed to cigarette smoke (Benson and Hedges containing 1.1mg nicotine) once daily at 18.00hours. The second group was exposed to smoke from cotton wool of equal weight as of the cigarette. The third group was the control and was not exposed to smoke. The animals had feeds and water ad libitum. The rats were sacrificed on 14th and 28th days, the aortae excised, homogenized in 0.2M sucrose and assayed for Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PDH), Lactase Dehydrogenase (LDH) and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP).
Results: A significant decrease in ALP and LDH and an insignificant increase in G6PDH over a period of 14 days were observed. However, the activities of the three enzymes were significantly decreased over a period of 28 days.
Conclusion: Exposure to cigarette smoke can affect certain enzymes of the wall of the descending aorta.
Key words: Descending aorta, G6PDH, LDH, ALP
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