Tobacco Smoke and Skin Aging

  • Akimichi Morita
Living reference work entry


Tobacco smoke has deleterious effects on skin, such as the induction of wrinkles, pigmentation, and other signs of skin aging. Epidemiologic studies indicate that tobacco smoking is a strong independent predictor of facial wrinkle formation and other aspects of premature skin aging. Recent in vivo studies in humans and mice provided the first direct evidence that tobacco smoke causes premature skin aging and has begun to elucidate the molecular changes in the skin that occur in response to tobacco smoke. Water-soluble tobacco smoke extract, which predominantly produces oxidative stress when applied to cultured skin fibroblasts, impairs collagen biosynthesis. Matrix metalloproteinases, which degrade collagen, are induced dose dependently by tobacco smoke extract and other constituents that trigger the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor that mediates the toxicity of several environmental contaminants, including photoproducts in the body generated by ultraviolet (UV) B radiation. Tobacco smoke contains many non-water-soluble constituents that also activate the AhR pathway. Hexane-soluble tobacco extract activates the AhR pathway to induce the premature skin aging effects of tobacco smoke exposure. Based on the results of several studies, it is now widely accepted that tobacco (cigarette) smoking is an environmental factor that induces premature skin aging


Tobacco Smoke Elastic Fiber Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Skin Aging Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geriatric and Environmental DermatologyNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical SciencesNagoyaJapan

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