e-cigarette chemical flavourings may impair lung functionApril 9, 2019
Hae-Ryung Park et al found evidence suggesting the potentially harmful effect of two chemicals used to flavour e-cigarettes on human lungs. Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedion, widely used to flavour electronic cigarettes, were found to impair the function of cilia in the human airway by inducing transcriptomic changes. Researchers identified that RNA-Sequencing of primary normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells showed a total of 163 and 568 differentially expressed genes in cells that were exposed to diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, respectively. The cells were cultured at an air-liquid interface (ALI) to mimic the in vivo airway characteristics. The expression of multiple genes involved in cilia biogenesis was also found to be significantly downregulated in reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test of NHBE cells. These flavouring substances commonly used as food flavouring substances are not proven safe for inhalation apart from consumption. The study sheds new light on the likely adverse effect of e-cigarettes on the lungs.
Source: Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 1400 (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37913-9