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PLoS One. 2015 Feb 6;10(2):e0116732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116732. eCollection 2015.

Vapors produced by electronic cigarettes and e-juices with flavorings induce toxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response in lung epithelial cells and in mouse lung.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, United States of America.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, United States of America.
3
Mechanical Engineering Department, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, United States of America.

Abstract

Oxidative stress and inflammatory response are the key events in the pathogenesis of chronic airway diseases. The consumption of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) with a variety of e-liquids/e-juices is alarmingly increasing without the unrealized potential harmful health effects. We hypothesized that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)/e-cigs pose health concerns due to oxidative toxicity and inflammatory response in lung cells exposed to their aerosols. The aerosols produced by vaporizing ENDS e-liquids exhibit oxidant reactivity suggesting oxidants or reactive oxygen species (OX/ROS) may be inhaled directly into the lung during a "vaping" session. These OX/ROS are generated through activation of the heating element which is affected by heating element status (new versus used), and occurs during the process of e-liquid vaporization. Unvaporized e-liquids were oxidative in a manner dependent on flavor additives, while flavors containing sweet or fruit flavors were stronger oxidizers than tobacco flavors. In light of OX/ROS generated in ENDS e-liquids and aerosols, the effects of ENDS aerosols on tissues and cells of the lung were measured. Exposure of human airway epithelial cells (H292) in an air-liquid interface to ENDS aerosols from a popular device resulted in increased secretion of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-8. Furthermore, human lung fibroblasts exhibited stress and morphological change in response to treatment with ENDS/e-liquids. These cells also secrete increased IL-8 in response to a cinnamon flavored e-liquid and are susceptible to loss of cell viability by ENDS e-liquids. Finally, exposure of wild type C57BL/6J mice to aerosols produced from a popular e-cig increase pro-inflammatory cytokines and diminished lung glutathione levels which are critical in maintaining cellular redox balance. Thus, exposure to e-cig aerosols/juices incurs measurable oxidative and inflammatory responses in lung cells and tissues that could lead to unrealized health consequences.

PMID:
25658421
PMCID:
PMC4319729
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0116732
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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