Acute and chronic in vivo effects of exposure to nicotine and propylene glycol from an E-cigarette on mucociliary clearance in a murine model

Beth L Laube, Nima Afshar-Mohajer, Kirsten A Koehler, Gang Chen, Philip Lazarus, Michael Collaco, Sharon A McGrath-Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To determine the effect of an acute (1 week) and chronic (3 weeks) exposure to E-cigarette (E-cig) emissions on mucociliary clearance (MCC) in murine lungs. Methods: C57BL/6 male mice (age 10.5 ± 2.4 weeks) were exposed for 20 min/day to E-cigarette aerosol generated by a Joyetech 510-T® E-cig containing either 0% nicotine (N)/propylene glycol (PG) for 1 week (n = 6), or 3 weeks (n = 9), or 2.4% N/PG for one week (n = 6), or 3 weeks (n = 9), followed by measurement of MCC. Control mice (n = 15) were not exposed to PG alone, or N/PG. MCC was assessed by gamma camera following aspiration of 99mtechnetium aerosol and was expressed as the amount of radioactivity removed from both lungs over 6 hours (MCC6hrs). Venous blood was assayed for cotinine levels in control mice and in mice exposed for 3-weeks to PG alone and N/PG. Results: MCC6hrs in control mice and in mice acutely exposed to PG alone and N/PG was similar, averaging (±1 standard deviation) 8.6 ± 5.2%, 7.5 ± 2.8% and 11.2 ± 5.9%, respectively. In contrast, chronic exposure to PG alone stimulated MCC6hrs (17.2 ± 8.0)% and this stimulation was significantly blunted following chronic exposure to N/PG (8.7 ± 4.6)% (p <.05). Serum cotinine levels were <0.5 ng/ml in control mice and in mice exposed to PG alone, whereas, N/PG exposed mice averaged 14.6 ± 12.0 ng/ml. Conclusions: In this murine model, a chronic, daily, 20 min-exposure to N/PG, but not an acute exposure, slowed MCC, compared to exposure to PG alone and led to systemic absorption of nicotine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 16 2017



  • acute exposure
  • chronic exposure
  • E-cigarette emissions
  • mucociliary clearance
  • murine model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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