An investigation into E-cigarette cytotoxicity in-vitro using a novel 3D differentiated co-culture model of human airways.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2018 Jun 27 ;52:255-264. Epub 2018 Jun 27. PMID: 29940344
Pranav Vasanthi Bathrinarayanan
Currently there is a lack of consensus on the possible adverse health effects of E-cigarettes (ECs). Important factors including cell model employed and exposure method determine the physiological relevance of EC studies. The present study aimed to evaluate EC cytotoxicity using a physiologically relevant in-vitro multicellular model of human airways. Human bronchial epithelial cells (CALU-3) and pulmonary fibroblasts (MRC-5) were co-cultured at air-liquid-interface for 11-14 days post which they were exposed to whole cigarette smoke (WCS) or EC vapour (ECV) at standard ISO-3308 regime for 7 m using a bespoke aerosol delivery system. ECV effects were further investigated at higher exposure times (1 h-6 h). Results showed that while WCS significantly reduced cellviability after 7 m, ECV decreased cell viability only at exposure times higher than 3 h. Furthermore, ECV caused elevated IL-6 and IL-8 production despite reduced cell viability. ECV exposure also produced a marked increase in oxidative stress. Finally, WCS but not ECV exposure induced caspase3/7 activation, suggesting a caspase independent death of ECV exposed cells. Overall, our results indicate that prolonged ECV exposure (≥3 h) has a significant impact on pro-inflammatory mediators' production, oxidative stress and cell viability but not caspase 3/7 activity.