Changes in the glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins in the tissues in rats exposed to cigarette smoke

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      Prolonged exposure of rats to cigarette smoke resulted in significant alteration in the metabolism of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) and glycoproteins (GP). The concentration of many GAG fractions generally decreased in the aorta, liver and heart, but increased in the lungs. Concentration of chondroitin sulphates decreased in all the tissues. The activity of many enzymes concerned with the degradation of GAG (hyaluronidase, β-glucuronidase and cathepsin-D) showed increase in these tissues. The concentration of the carbohydrate components (total hexose fucose and sialic acid) of aorta, heart and liver showed decrease in the rats exposed to cigarette smoke while there was increase in the lungs. The activity of many glycohydrolases generally showed increase in these tissues. Thus, exposure of rats to cigarette smoke for long periods produced changes in the aortic GAG and GP which are similar to those observed in atherosclerosis. On the other hand there was accumulation of many GAG in the lung tissue.


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