Effect of smokeless tobacco use in humans on mucosal immune factors

R. L. Gregory, J. C. Kindle, L. C. Hobbs, H. S. Malmstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


To assess the effects of smokeless tobacco on the secretory immune system and dental caries, we examined users of smokeless tobacco and non-tobacco users. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of DMFS between users and non-users. There was significantly more salivary IgA, IgA2 and J-chain in users. Levels of salivary lysozyme and lactoferrin were significantly lower in users than controls. Because there was no difference in levels of secretory component in relation to the increased IgA levels of smokeless tobacco users, this suggests an effect of smokeless tobacco on secretory epithelial cells responsible for synthesis of secretory component, lysozyme and lactoferrin, and for the packaging of secretory component on IgA. There were only slight differences in salivary or serum antibody levels to Streptococcus mutans. These findings indicate that although smokeless tobacco has a significant influence on the synthesis of secretory IgA, the numbers of DMFS were similar between smokeless tobacco users and controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • dental caries
  • immunoglobulin A
  • lactoferrin
  • lysozyme
  • secretory component
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology

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