Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(9):708-718. doi:10.7150/ijms.12032

Research Paper

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Reduced the Compensatory Effects of IGF-I Growth Signaling in the Aging Rat Hearts

Jia-Ping Wu1, Dennis Jine-Yuan Hsieh2, Wei-Wen Kuo3, Chien-Kuo Han4, Peiying Pai5, Yu-Lan Yeh6,7, Chien-Chung Lin8, V. Vijaya Padma9, Cecilia Hsuan Day10, Chih-Yang Huang1,11,12✉

1. Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2. School of Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
3. Department of Biological Science and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung
4. Department of Health and Nutrition Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan
5. Division of Cardiology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
6. Department of pathology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua
7. Department of Medical Technology, Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Miaoli, Taiwan
8. Orthopaedic Department, Armed Forces General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
9. Department of Biotechnology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore-641 046, India
10. Department of Nursing, Mei Ho University, 23 Pingguang Road, Pingtung 91202, Taiwan
11. School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
12. Department of Health and Nutrition Biotechnology, Asia University, 500 Lioufeng Road, Taichung 41354, Taiwan

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Wu JP, Hsieh DJY, Kuo WW, Han CK, Pai P, Yeh YL, Lin CC, Padma VV, Day CH, Huang CY. Secondhand Smoke Exposure Reduced the Compensatory Effects of IGF-I Growth Signaling in the Aging Rat Hearts. Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(9):708-718. doi:10.7150/ijms.12032. Available from

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Background: Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Aging is a physiological process that involves progressive impairment of normal heart functions due to increased vulnerability to damage. This study examines secondhand smoke exposure in aging rats to determine the age-related death-survival balance.

Methods: Rats were placed into a SHS exposure chamber and exposed to smog. Old age male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 10 cigarettes for 30 min, day and night, continuing for one week. After 4 weeks the rats underwent morphological and functional studies. Left ventricular sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin for histopathological examination. TUNEL detected apoptosis cells and protein expression related death and survival pathway were analyzed using western blot.

Results: Death receptor-dependent apoptosis upregulation pathways and the mitochondria apoptosis proteins were apparent in young SHS exposure and old age rats. These biological markers were enhanced in aging SHS-exposed rats. The survival pathway was found to exhibit compensation only in young SHS-exposed rats, but not in the aging rats. Further decrease in the activity of this pathway was observed in aging SHS-exposed rats. TUNEL apoptotic positive cells were increased in young SHS-exposed rats, and in aging rats with or without SHS-exposure.

Conclusions: Aging reduces IGF-I compensated signaling with accelerated cardiac apoptotic effects from second-hand smoke.

Keywords: Secondhand smoke exposure, aging, age-related death-survival balance, cell cycle, apoptosis.