Abstract Title:

Acute exposure to e-cigarettes causes inflammation and pulmonary endothelial oxidative stress in nonsmoking, healthy young subjects.

Abstract Source:

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2019 Aug 1 ;317(2):L155-L166. Epub 2019 May 1. PMID: 31042077

Abstract Author(s):

Shampa Chatterjee, Jian-Qin Tao, Alyssa Johncola, Wensheng Guo, Alessandra Caporale, Michael C Langham, Felix W Wehrli

Article Affiliation:

Shampa Chatterjee


The effects of e-cigarette (e-cig) aerosol inhalation by nonsmokers have not been examined to date. The present study was designed to evaluate the acute response to aerosol inhalation of non-nicotinized e-cigarettes in terms of oxidative stress and indices of endothelial activation in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMVEC). Ten smoking-naïve healthy subjects (mean age ± SD = 28.7 ± 5.5 yr) were subjected to an e-cig challenge, following which their serum was monitored for markers of inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)] and nitric oxide metabolites (NOx). The oxidative stress and inflammation burden of the circulating serum on the vascular network was also assessed by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and induction of ICAM-1 expression on HPMVEC. Our results show that serum indices of oxidative stress and inflammation increased significantly (<0.05 as compared with baseline), reaching a peak at approximately 1-2 h post-e-cig aerosol inhalation and returning to baseline levels at 6 h. The circulatory burden of the serum (ICAM-1 and ROS) increased significantly at 2 h and returned to baseline values 6 h post-e-cig challenge. ROS production by HPMVEC was found to occur via activation of the NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) pathways. These findings suggest that even in the absence of nicotine, acute e-cig aerosol inhalation leads to a transient increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. This can adversely affect the vascular endothelial network by promoting oxidative stress and immune cell adhesion. Thus e-cig inhalation has the potential to drive the onset of vascular pathologies.

Study Type : Human Study

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