The Role of Catecholamines in the Free Fatty Acid Response to Cigarette Smoking
The role of the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous system in the free fatty acid (FFA) rise after smoking was investigated.
In 11 subjects who smoked three cigarettes per hour for a 3-hour period, urinary free catecholamine excretion increased 2.5 µg./hr. (21 per cent) and total catecholamine excretion increased 3.1 µg./hr. (16 per cent). FFA elevations occurred in all subjects during the smoking period.
In three subjects, repeated control determinations of their FFA response to smoking were made and a rise was observed in each instance. Sympathetic ganglionic blockade was then induced with methaphan camphorsulfonate and the smoking tests were repeated. No rise in FFA after smoking occurred following blockade.
Eight patients, who had previously undergone bilateral adrenalectomy for the treatment of hypertension, were studied for their FFA response to smoking. In six subjects there was no significant elevation. In two subjects there was a minimal effect.
These findings indicate that for cigarette smoking to cause an increase in serum free fatty acids both the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous system must be functioning, probably to produce an effective level of circulating catecholamines.
- © 1963 American Heart Association, Inc.