A study made recently showed that smoking breaks the circadian clock function in the brain and the lungs which results in sleeping disorders and leads to cognitive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, mood disorders.
Irfan Rahman from the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, told that the aim of the study was to find out how smoking impacts both pulmonary and neurophysiological function. The results suggest that treatments improving both lung and brain functions in smokers may have a therapeutic value.
It is expected that findings of this study will be the base for future developments in the treatment for people who suffer from tobacco smoke-related diseases.
Rahman together with his peers found that tobacco smoke produces inflammation and depressed levels of brain locomotor activity which affects expression rhythms of clock gene in the lung.
Smoking caused reduction of a molecule SIRTUIN1 (SIRT1) and this changed the level of the clock protein (BMAL1) in brain amd lung tissues in mice. The same reduction was observed in lung tissue from human smokers and people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For the experiments the researchers used two groups of mice which were placed in special smoking chambers in which they inhaled tobacco smoke. One group inhaled clean air only and the second was exposed to various numbers of cigarettes during the day. Researchers found that mice exposed to tobacco smoke were less active.
Then researchers used mice deficient in SIRT1 and discovered that tobacco smoke caused a decline in activity. However, use of anti-ageing protein helped to get the activity to normal levels. Also it was found that the clock protein, BMAL1, was regulated by SIRT1, and the reduction in SIRT1 destroyed BMAL1, leading to disturbance in the sleep.