Effect of Nicotine on Spinal Discs – Anil Kesani MD
Dr. Anil Kesani explains that there has always been a known link between smoking and back pain. Therefore, Dr. Kesani designed and conducted a study to examine the effect of nicotine on spinal discs. A member of the North American Spine Society, Anil Kesani MD is an orthopedic and spine surgeon at SpineMD.
To see treatments offered at SpineMD, visit myspinemd.com here. Dr. Anil Kumar Kesani is also co-author of several medical journal articles, including “Effect of Nicotine on Spinal Disc Cells: A Cellular Mechanism for Disc Degeneration.”
The study was conducted to investigate the effect of nicotine on spinal discs cells within vertebrae. Present in tobacco smoke and products such as chewing tobacco and cigarettes, nicotine is a stimulant that speeds up messages between the brain and other parts of the body. The drug is present in bodily fluids of smokers and has been reported to have negative effects on different tissues, and has been connected to back pain through multiple studies.
During the study in order to examine the effects of nicotine on spinal discs, cells from the discs between vertebrae were obtained from cows and partitioned into different cultures containing levels of nicotine ranging from 25 to 300 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L), mimicking the level seen in smokers. Another group containing no nicotine was produced to serve as a control for comparison.
The samples were subsequently collected and analyzed on days 3, 7, 14, and 21. At day 14, the 300nmol/L cultures showed a decrease in DNA and in molecules that provide structural support to cells. They also demonstrated a decreased cell growth, irregular cell structure, and increased cell death as compared to controls.
The 100nmol/L and higher cultures showed similar results at day 21. Due to these negative observed changes in intervertebral disc cells as a result of nicotine presence, the report suggested nicotine may contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Therefore, ultimately negative effect of nicotine on spinal discs.