“As health officials struggle to understand the increasing number of serious lung disease, a new experimental study using mice may provide some clues about what is going on. Matthew Madison and his colleagues published ‘Electronic cigarettes disrupt lung lipid homeostasis and innate immunity independent of nicotine’ in Journal of Clinical Investigation,” writes Glantz.
A further comment in his piece will raise many eyebrows (especially in light of yesterday’s article covering the FDA’s statement that the cause is related to THC products): “All this information points to the idea that the spate of cases that are drawing attention are not just due to some contaminant in the e-cigs, but rather are fundamental to the product itself.”
The research studied mice placed into a smoke or vape-filled environment for four months. The mice were then extracted and investigated. They found that the mice exposed to cigarette smoke had developed emphysema. They claim the mice stuck in vape-filled boxes developed fat-clogged lung cells.
“This will be helpful to doctors who are consulted by mice thinking of moving into a cage full of smoke or vapour for the rest of their lives” - Professor John Britton
The second part of the experiment involved exposing the surviving mice to influenza. They say that the vape mice were unable to handle the infection and suffered an increased severity.
Professor Jonathan Grigg, Professor of Paediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), commented: “These data are compatible with our published study (in the European Respiratory Journal) which showed that e cigarette vapour increases the adhesion of bacteria to human airway cells. Public Health England should now urgently consider that this presents a credible link between vaping and vulnerability to infection.”
It may sound bad, but clarity was provided by Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham. He said: “This will be helpful to doctors who are consulted by mice thinking of moving into a cage full of smoke or vapour for the rest of their lives. Lungs are delicate organs, and long-term inhalation of anything other than clean air is likely to cause damage, but the relevance of damage to mouse lungs to human health is far from clear.”
In associated matters, another mouse study is being used to argue that vaping causes fertility problems and underweight babies, a finding running contrary to the real-life UK studies we’ve covered on POTV. You can find out more by visiting Clive Bates’ Twitter feed [link].