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The effect of electronic cigarette and tobacco smoke exposure on COPD bronchial epithelial cell inflammatory responses

Authors Higham A, Bostock D, Booth G, Dungwa JV, Singh D

Received 21 November 2017

Accepted for publication 7 February 2018

Published 23 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 989—1000


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Andrew Higham,1,2 Declan Bostock,1 George Booth,2 Josiah V Dungwa,2 Dave Singh1,2

1Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester and University Hospital of South Manchester, NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK; 2Medicines Evaluation Unit, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK

Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are used to help smoking cessation. However, these devices contain harmful chemicals, and there are safety concerns. We have investigated the effects of e-cigs on the inflammatory response and viability of COPD bronchial epithelial cells (BECs).
Methods: BECs from COPD patients and controls were exposed to e-cig vapor extract (ECVE) and the levels of interleukin (IL)-6, C-X-C motif ligand 8 (CXCL8), and lactate dehydrogenase release were measured. We also examined the effect of ECVE pretreatment on polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C)-stimulated cytokine release from BECs. Parallel experiments using Calu-3 cells were performed. Comparisons were made with cigarette smoke extract (CSE).
Results: ECVE and CSE caused an increase in the release of IL-6 and CXCL8 from Calu-3 cells. ECVE only caused toxicity in BECs and Calu-3 cells. Furthermore, ECVE and CSE dampened poly I:C-stimulated C-X-C motif ligand 10 release from both cell culture models, reaching statistical significance for CSE at an optical density of 0.3.
Conclusion: ECVE caused toxicity and reduced the antiviral response to poly I:C. This raises concerns over the safety of e-cig use.

Keywords: e-cigs, epithelial cells, COPD, air–liquid interface, cigarette smoke

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