How Does Smoking Aggregate Cervical Dysplasia – Gynecologist

 

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Tobacco smoke is a well-established human papillomavirus (HPV) cofactor for the development of cervical precancer and cancer (3, 6), but the molecular mechanisms by which smoking increases the risk of cervical precancer and cancer remain unknown. There are several plausible explanations (2).

One is that smoking inhibits the immune response to HPV. A second is that carcinogenic HPV-infected cells are exposed to smoking carcinogens that cause DNA damage while HPV oncoproteins block apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Alam et al. (1) reported a molecular interaction between benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, and HPV synthesis, suggestive of yet another possible mechanism.

They found evidence that “high concentrations of BaP resulted in a ten-fold increase in HPV31 viral titers, whereas treatment with low concentrations of BaP resulted in increased HPV genome copies, but not virion morphogenesis”.

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