Journal Article

Comparison of the Toxicity of Smoke from Conventional and Harm Reduction Cigarettes Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Sabrina Lin, Shawn Fonteno, Jo-Hao Weng and Prue Talbot

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 118, issue 1, pages 202-212
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Comparison of the Toxicity of Smoke from Conventional and Harm Reduction Cigarettes Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells

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This study evaluated the hypothesis that smoke from harm reduction cigarettes impedes attachment and proliferation of H9 human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Smoke from three harm reduction brands was compared with smoke from a conventional brand. Doses of smoke were measured in puff equivalents (PE) (1 PE = the amount of smoke in one puff that dissolves in 1 ml of medium). Cytotoxic doses were determined using morphological criteria and trypan blue staining, and apoptosis was confirmed using Magic Red staining. Attachment and proliferation of hESC were followed at a noncytotoxic dose in time-lapse videos collected using BioStation technology. Data were mined from videos either manually or using video bioinformatics subroutines developed with CL-Quant software. Mainstream (MS) and sidestream (SS) smoke from conventional and harm reduction cigarettes induced apoptosis in hESC colonies at 1 PE. At 0.1 PE (noncytotoxic), SS smoke from all brands inhibited attachment of hESC colonies to Matrigel with the strongest inhibition occurring in harm reduction brands. At 0.1 PE, SS smoke, but not MS smoke, from all brands inhibited hESC growth, and two harm reduction brands were more potent than the conventional brand. In general, hESC appeared more sensitive to smoke than their mouse ESC counterparts. Although harm reduction cigarettes are often marketed as safer than conventional brands, our assays show that SS smoke from harm reduction cigarettes was at least as potent or in some cases more potent than smoke from a conventional brand and that SS smoke was more inhibitory than MS smoke in all assays.

Keywords: cigarette smoke; harm reduction; embryos; humans; toxicology; tobacco; bioinformatics

Journal Article.  6637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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