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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 Nov 1;115(9):1316-23. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00194.2013. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Nose-only water-pipe smoking effects on airway resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress in mice.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates;


Water-pipe smoking (WPS) is a common practice in the Middle East and is now gaining popularity in Europe and the United States. However, there is a limited number of studies on the respiratory effects of WPS. More specifically, the underlying pulmonary pathophysiological mechanisms related to WPS exposure are not understood. Presently, we assessed the respiratory effects of nose-only exposure to mainstream WPS generated by commercially available honey flavored "moasel" tobacco. The duration of the session was 30 min/day and 5 days/wk for 1 mo. Control mice were exposed to air only. Here, we measured in BALB/c mice the airway resistance using forced-oscillation technique. Lung inflammation was assessed histopathologically and by biochemical analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and oxidative stress was evaluated biochemically by measuring lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione and several antioxidant enzymes. Pulmonary inflammation assessment showed an increase in neutrophil and lymphocyte numbers. Likewise, airway resistance was significantly increased in the WPS group compared with controls. Tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 concentrations were significantly increased in BAL fluid. Lipid peroxidation in lung tissue was significantly increased whereas the level and activity of antioxidants including reduced glutathione, glutathione S transferase, and superoxide dismutase were all significantly decreased following WPS exposure, indicating the occurrence of oxidative stress. Moreover, carboxyhemoglobin levels were significantly increased in the WPS group. We conclude that 1-mo nose-only exposure to WPS significantly increased airway resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Our results provide a mechanistic explanation for the limited clinical studies that reported the detrimental respiratory effects of WPS.


airway resistance; inflammation; nose-only exposure; oxidative stress; water-pipe smoking

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