Vaping immobilizes the immune system’s first line of defense

Inhale the vapor from an electronic cigarette can prevent front-line immune cells from functioning normally, according to a new study that shows that even moderate exposure to smoke suppresses this important and defensive cellular activity.

The findings are published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and suggest that inhalation of smoke from electronic cigarettes could damage neutrophils, the first line of defense of the human immune system. The findings are important as previous research has shown that damage caused to neutrophils by cigarette smoking can lead to long-term lung damage.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham took blood samples from healthy donors who had never smoked or vaped. The team then exposed neutrophils taken from the blood to 40 inhalations of flavorless vaporizer, which, according to previous studies, is a low daily exposure; Half of the samples were exposed to vapors containing nicotine and the rest to non-nicotine alternatives.

The test results showed that in both the nicotine group and the no-nicotine group, neutrophils remained alive but were trapped in place, making them unable to effectively address threats to the body.

He Dr. Aaron Scott, associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Birmingham and lead author of the study, said: “We found that after a brief, low-level exposure to e-cigarette vapor, the cells remain alive, but can no longer move as quickly. effectiveness” and therefore cannot carry out their normal protective functions. Interestingly, vapor from e-liquids that did not contain nicotine also had the same negative effects as vapor from e-liquids that did contain nicotine.

“E-cigarettes are a proven, lower-harm tool to help smokers quit, but our data add to current evidence that e-cigarettes are not harmless and highlight the need to fund longer-term studies.” in vapers”.

Other experiments with neutrophils exposed to e-cigarette vapor suggest that the buildup of a microfilament inside cells that cannot properly reorganize is driving the suppression of normal cell function.

Actin is usually found as small filaments inside cells and they rearrange themselves into a network to help the cell change its shape. This function is used by neutrophils to be able to move towards and around threats to destroy them.

The team observed that there were high concentrations of the F-actin filament within neutrophils that had been exposed to vapor from e-cigarettes, whether or not they contained nicotine. The buildup of F-actin made the immune cells less able to move and function normally.

David Thickett, professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Birmingham, clinical director of University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), NHS Foundation Trust and co-author of the smoking cessation service paper, said: “In Health Neutrophils normally They protect the lungs by moving from the blood to the site of possible damage before using a series of protective functions to protect the lung. “The observed impact that e-cigarette vapor had on their mobility is therefore of great concern, and if this were to happen to the body, those who regularly use e-cigarettes would be at greater risk of respiratory illness.”

Professor Liz Sapey, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham and honorary consultant physician in acute medicine and respiration at UHB, and co-author of the paper, said: “Smoking has a well-documented impact on neutrophils, and this study further shows the impact that e-cigarettes still have on the immune system. Neutrophils are strongly implicated in aging and chronic obstructive diseases and their relationship with tissue damage, and the impact of vaping in suppressing the activity of the “neutrophils, independently of nicotine, could have long-term health implications.”

Source: University of Birmingham


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