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Chronic exposure to electronic cigarette (E-cig) results in impaired cardiovascular function in mice.

  • Olfert, I Mark1
  • DeVallance, Evan2
  • Hoskinson, Hannah2
  • Branyan, Kayla W2
  • Clayton, Stuart2
  • Pitzer, Christopher R2
  • Sullivan, David Patrick2
  • Breit, Matthew J2
  • Wu, Zhong-Xin2
  • Klinkhachorn, Powsiri2
  • Mandler, W Kyle2
  • Erdreich, Brett H2
  • Ducatman, Barbara S2
  • Bryner, Randy W2
  • Dasgupta, Piyali3
  • Chantler, Paul D2
  • 1 1 West Virginia University School of Medicine.
  • 2 2 West Virginia University.
  • 3 3 Marshall University.
Published Article
Journal of Applied Physiology
American Physiological Society
Publication Date
Nov 02, 2017
DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00713.2017
PMID: 29097631


Proponents for electronic cigarettes(E-cigs) claim they are a safe alternative to smoking tobacco-based cigarettes,however little is known about the long-term effects of E-cig vapor exposure on vascular function.The purpose of this study was to determine the cardiovascular consequences of chronic E-cig exposure. Female mice (C57Bl/6 background strain)were randomly assigned to chronic daily exposure of E-cig vapor, standard cigarette smoke(using 3R4F-reference-cigarette), or filtered-air(N=15/group). Respective whole-body exposures consisted of 4 x 1-hour exposure blocks, separated by 30-minute intervals of fresh air breaks, resulting in intermittent daily exposure for a total of 4h/day, 5days/week for 8-months. Non-invasive ultrasonography was used to assess cardiac function and aortic stiffness (pulse wave velocity)at 3 times points (before, during, after chronic exposure). Upon completion of the 8-month exposure, ex-vivo wire tension myograph and force transduction measured changes in aortic tension in response to vasoactive inducing compounds. Aortic stiffness increased 2.5- and 2.8-times greater in E-cig and conventional tobacco-cigarettes,respectively, compared to filtered-air exposed control mice(p<0.05). The maximal aortic relaxation achieved to methacholine was 24% and 33% lower in E-cig and 3R4F-exposed mice,respectively, compared to controls(p<0.05). No differences were noted in sodium-nitroprusside dilation between the groups. 3R4F exposure altered cardiac function by reducing fractional shortening and ejection fraction after 8-months exposure(p<0.05). A similar tendency, though not statistically significant,was also observed with E-cig exposure(p<0.10). Chronic exposure to E-cig vapor accelerates aortic stiffness,significantly impairs aortic endothelial function,and may lead to impaired cardiac function. The clinical implications from this study are, even at relatively low exposure levels,chronic use of E-cig induces cardiovascular dysfunction.

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