E-cigarette Aerosol Condensate Enhances Metabolism of Benzo(a)pyrene to Genotoxic Products, and Induces CYP1A1 and CYP1B1, Likely by Activation of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 07 11 ;16(14). Epub 2019 Jul 11. PMID: 31373329
E-cigarette aerosol contains lower levels of most known carcinogens than tobacco smoke, but many users of e-cigarettes are also smokers, and these individuals may be vulnerable to possible promoting and/or cocarcinogenic effects of e-cigarettes. We investigated the possibility that a condensate of e-cigarette aerosol (EAC) enhances the metabolism of the tobacco carcinogen, benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), to genotoxic products in a human oral keratinocyte cell line. Cells were pretreated with EAC from two popular e-cigs and then with BaP. Metabolism to its ultimate carcinogenic metabolite, anti-7,8-dihydroxy-9,10-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro B[a]P (BPDE), was assayed by measuring isomers of its spontaneous hydrolysis products, BaP tetrols. The pretreatment of cells with EAC enhanced the rate of BaP tetrol formation several fold. Pretreatment with the e-liquid resulted in a smaller enhancement. The treatment of cells with EAC induced CYP1A1/1B1 mRNA and protein. The enhancement of BaP tetrol formation was inhibited by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) inhibitor,α-napthoflavone, indicating EAC likely induces CYP1A1/1B1 and enhances BaP metabolism by activating the AhR. To our knowledge, this is first report demonstrating that e-cigarettes can potentiate the genotoxic effects of a tobacco smoke carcinogen.