Vascular endothelium actively participates in inflammatory reactions in the majority of chronic respiratory diseases. Smoking is a major risk factor for bronchopulmonary diseases, and it plays an important role in endothelial dysfunction development. Some experiments prove that aggressive pollutants of tobacco smoke (benzopyrene, peroxynitrite, acrolein, cyanides, peroxides, etc.) can cause direct damage to endothelial cells due to expression of adhesion molecules on their surface and intensification of lipid peroxidation. In turn, oxidized lipoproteins in the tunica intima of the vessel work as attractants for chemotaxis of leukocytes and monocytes that start to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines in big amounts. These processes trigger systemic inflammatory response that leads to irreversible thickening of the vessel walls and deterioration of their mechanical properties. Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke and the products of combustion of tobacco leads to chronic system inflammatory reaction, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and morpho-functional damage of target organs. Nowadays, the connection between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and some cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases has been well established. Studying the mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in brain blood vessels of patients with smoking habits and COPD can be very important for preventing acute vascular events.
Part of the book: Endothelial Dysfunction