STUDY: Mucociliary dysfunction of the airways with the e-cigarette

STUDY: Mucociliary dysfunction of the airways with the e-cigarette

According to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society, the e-cigarette containing nicotine seems to hinder the elimination of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract ...

Matthias Salathe - University of Kansas Medical


The study The e-cigarette causes mucociliary dysfunction of the respiratory tract preferentially via TRPA1 receptors Has been published online in the American Thoracic Society by a team of researchers from the University of Kansas, the University of Miami and Mt.

The Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach reported that exposure of human respiratory tract cells to nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapor in culture resulted in decreased ability to move mucus or phlegm to the surface . This phenomenon is called " mucociliary dysfunction". The researchers report the same finding in vivo in sheep, whose airways resemble those of humans exposed to e-cigarette vapor.

« This study is based on our team's research on the influence of tobacco smoke on the clearance of mucus from the respiratory tract." , said Matthias Salathe, author, director of internal medicine and professor of pulmonary medicine and intensive care at the University of Kansas Medical. Center. " The question was whether nicotine vaporization had negative effects on the ability to eliminate airway secretions similar to tobacco smoke. »

Mucociliary dysfunction is a hallmark of many lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. Specifically, the study found that nicotine vaping impaired the frequency of ciliary beats, dehydrated airway fluid, and made the mucus more viscous or sticky. These changes make it more difficult to defend the bronchi, the main routes of passage of the lung, against infection and injury.

The researchers noted that a recent report found that younger users of never-smoking electronic cigarettes were at increased risk of developing chronic bronchitis, a disease characterized by chronic mucus production that is also seen tobacco smokers.

Dr. Salathe said the recently published data not only corroborated the previous clinical report, but also helped to explain it. A single vaping session can release more nicotine into the airways than burning a cigarette. In addition, according to Dr. Salathe, the absorption into the blood is lower, possibly exposing the airways to high levels of nicotine for long periods.

The study also found that nicotine produced these negative effects by stimulating the transient receptor potential of the ion channel, ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). TRPA1 blockade reduced the effects of nicotine on clearance in human cells in culture and in sheep.

« The e-cigarette with nicotine is not harmless and at a minimum it increases the risk of chronic bronchitis. Says Dr. Salathe. " Our study, along with others, could even question the value of e-cigarettes as a risk-reduction approach for smokers «

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Passionate about journalism, I decided to join the editorial team of in 2017 in order to mainly deal with vape news in North America (Canada, United States).

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