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Role of NADPH oxidase-2 and oxidative stress in children exposed to passive smoking
  1. Lorenzo Loffredo1,
  2. Anna Maria Zicari2,
  3. Francesca Occasi2,
  4. Ludovica Perri1,
  5. Roberto Carnevale1,
  6. Francesco Angelico1,
  7. Maria Del Ben1,
  8. Francesco Martino2,
  9. Cristina Nocella1,
  10. Giovanna De Castro2,
  11. Vittoria Cammisotto1,
  12. Simona Battaglia1,
  13. Marzia Duse2,
  14. Francesco Violi1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Lorenzo Loffredo, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00161, Italy; lorenzo.loffredo{at}


This study explored oxidative stress, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase-2 (Nox2) activity and endothelial function in children exposed or not to passive smoking. Compared with controls (n=57), Nox2 activity and isoprostanes were higher in children exposed to passive smoking (n=57); conversely, nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and flow-mediated dilation were lower in children exposed to passive smoking. A bivariate analysis showed that Nox2 activity correlated with flow-mediated dilation, NO bioavailability and isoprostanes. A multivariate analysis showed that Nox2 activity was significantly associated with serum isoprostanes and cotinine levels; flow-mediated dilation was associated with isoprostanes and carotid intima-media thickness.

In children exposed to passive smoking, Nox2-derived oxidative stress is upregulated and inversely associated with impaired artery dilation.

  • passive smoking
  • endothelial function
  • atherosclerosis
  • oxidative stress.

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  • LL and AMZ contributed equally.

  • Contributors Study concept and design and guarantors: LL and AMZ. Acquisition of data: FO, LP, GDC, SB and FM. Analysis and interpretation of data: FO, RC, CN, VC and LP. Drafting of the manuscript: LL and AMZ. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: FA, MDB, MD and FV. Statistical analysis: LL and FO. Study supervision: FV and MD.

  • Funding This study was supported by a grant from the University of Rome ‘ La Sapienza’ (Università degli Studi di ROMA ‘ la Sapienza’ RM11715C743A15B7, funds to LL).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical Committee of ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (ref. n.2339/26.01.2012).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Collaborators Francesco Baratta.