A Comparison of the Effects of Tar Levels in Cigarettes on Ciliary Movement By Exposing Mollusc Gill Cilia to Cigarette Extract and Recording the Beat Frequency D. Perklic
B-W03: Delaney Perklic
This study was conducted to observe the effects tar levels in cigarettes on the function of cilia movement. It was hypothesized that the tar levels within a cigarette would have an affect on ciliary action. The study was carried out using a hookah to create smoke extracts that we would then apply to Mollusc Gill samples before observing them under a microscope. Once the cilia were located, the beat frequency was recorded. We also observed histological slides of healthy lung tissue and bronchogenic carcinoma. The collected results of the study were consistant with the hypothesis in that the tar levels in the cigarette smoke did have an affect on cilia, and that ciliary movement slowed down once exposed to the cigarette extract. In conclusion, the results support our hypothesis stating that smoking cigarettes wil affect the beat frequency of cilia.
Cilia are microscopic hair-like projections on specialized cells lining the bronchus and lungs called epithelial cells. As an organism inhales the air around them, more than just oxygen enters their body. Dust and other airborne particles are also breathed in which have the potential to become harmful if allowed to accumulate in the lungs. Cilia secretes a sticky mucus which traps these particles and prevents them from settling in the airways. These cilia are referred to as ‘motile’ (moving) cilia, as they have a rhythmic waving or beating motion that is used to help propel fluid material along the surface of the tissue (Burness et al., 2019). Each cilium is comprised of a microtubular backbone and is surrounded by a plasma membrane. It is through interactions between these microtubules and their associated proteins, and ATP as an energy source, that cilia can properly beat at a high pace (Tilley et al., 2014). D. Perklic
One of the most common reasons a person may suffer from damaged or paralyzed cilia is from smoking cigarettes. Tobacco smoke contains over 5000 harmful chemicals, many of which are harmful to cilia and can result in an inability to produce mucous effectively (Tallhout et al., 2011). The smoke also slows down the ciliary movement, meaning irritating particles including tars remain in the airways for long periods of time. As tar contains many carcinogenic compounds, they can cause mutations and a great deal of damage if they remain in continuous contact with the cells of the lungs. In response to this presence of excess irritants, mucous cells in the lungs become stimulated to produce more mucus than normal. But, as the cilia have been damaged and are no longer able to beat properly, the lungs have no way of moving the mucous out (Leopold et al., 2009). This usually results in a cough, also known as a “smoker’s cough” and can leave a person more vulnerable to respirat...