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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tobacco Smoke and CYP1A2 Activity in a US Population with Normal Liver Enzyme Levels.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common among 30% of American adults. Former and current smokers are at higher risk for NAFLD compared to never smokers. The ratio of urine caffeine metabolites to caffeine intake-namely, urine caffeine metabolite indices-has previously been used as a proxy for CYP1A2 activity, which is one of the main liver metabolizing enzymes. CYP1A2 activity is associated with NAFLD progression. No studies to our knowledge have examined the associations of liver enzymes, smoking intensity, and secondhand smoke (SES) with CYP1A2 activity (using caffeine metabolite indices) across smoking status. We analyzed national representative samples from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Interestingly, even within a normal range, several liver enzymes were associated with caffeine metabolite indices, and patterns of many of these associations varied by smoking status. For instance, within a normal range, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in never smokers and bilirubin in current smokers were inversely associated with 1-methyluric acid and 5-acetylamino-6-amino-3-methyluracil (URXAMU). Furthermore, we observed a common pattern: across all smoking statuses, higher AST/alanine aminotransferase (AST/ALT) was associated with 1-methyluric acid and URXAMU. Moreover, in current smokers, increased lifelong smoking intensity was associated with reduced caffeine metabolite indices, but acute cigarette exposure as measured by SES levels was associated with increased caffeine metabolite indices among never smokers. In summary, commonly used liver enzyme tests can reflect the CYP1A2 activity even within a normal range, but the selection of these enzymes depends on the smoking status; the associations between smoking and the CYP1A2 activity not only depend on the intensity but also the duration of tobacco exposure.

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