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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2009, Article ID 812102, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Maintained Smoking Cessation for 6 Months Equilibrates the Percentage of Sputum Lymphocyte Cells with That of Nonsmokers

1Department of Thoracic Medicine, University General Hospital, Medical School of the University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece
2Department of Epidemiology, Social Medicine, Medical School of the University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece

Received 31 July 2009; Revised 5 November 2009; Accepted 30 November 2009

Academic Editor: Alex Kleinjan

Copyright © 2009 Izolde Bouloukaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Little is known about the longitudinal effects of smoking cessation on sputum inflammatory cells. We aimed to investigate the changes in sputum inflammatory cells and T-lymphocyte subpopulations after 6 and 12 months smoking cessation. Induced sputum was obtained from 68 healthy smokers before and after 6 months ( ) and 1 year ( ) smoking cessation and from ten healthy never-smokers. Inflammatory cells were identified by morphology and T-lymphocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry. Sputum macrophages were decreased after 12 months of smoking cessation in comparison to baseline, while neutrophils increased. Moreover, T-cells were decreased in smokers before smoking cessation compared to never-smokers and increased in smokers after 6 months of smoking cessation in comparison to baseline; result that was maintained after 1 year of smoking cessation. These novel findings indicate that smoking cessation can equilibrate certain inflammatory cells of smokers with those of nonsmokers, within 6 months of smoking cessation.