HO-1 protects smokers exposed to artifcial stone dust for pulmonary function tests deterioration

Noa Ophir, Amir Bar-Shai, Mordechai R. Kramer, Ahuva Grubstein, Lilach Shani Israeli, Elizabeth Fireman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Te Heme Oxygenase system, along with its catabolism products, is involved in a variety of crucial physiological functions, including cytoprotection, inflammation, anti-oxidative effects, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and vascular regulation. Objectives: To analyze the Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mediated effect of mild deterioration of pulmonary function testing (PFT) in exposed artifcial stone smoking workers. Methods: One hundred stone workers divided into current smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers underwent Low Resolution Computed Tomography, PFT, induced sputum (IS) Particle Size Distribution (PSD) and Real Time PCR in IS samples. Results: Smoking status had no signifcant effect on PFT results but it altered the IS differential cell counts. Tere was signifcantly less decline in PFT over time for the smokers group. Tere was a signifcantly lower fraction of small particles (<2 μm) in the IS of the current smokers group compared to the never-and ex-smokers groups. HO-1 gene expression was higher among smokers compared to neverand ex-smokers groups. A low percentage of small particles (<5 μm) correlated negatively to the percentage of neutrophils and positively to the percentage of macrophages in the sputum of the smokers group. Conclusions: We found signifcantly lower risk for decreased PFT deterioration among smokers workers exposed to artifcial stone dust with higher HO-1 gene expression suggesting a possible protective effect of smoking by the involvement of HO-1 mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalSarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Artifcial stone
  • Inflammation
  • Lung function
  • Occupational disease
  • Silicosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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