Introduction: Smokers have an increased risk for a variety of diseases. Among the most prominent is atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in the Western world. Although this conjunction is accepted knowledge, the basic biological mechanisms and the identities of the active tobacco smoke constituents surprisingly are still unknown. One reason for this is the lack of accurate in vitro models.
Methods: Cell culture experiments, including cell morphology and cell death analyses, high-performance liquid chromatography, and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry via an electrospray ionization interface allowing collision-induced dissociation analyses, were applied.
Results and discussion: In this study, we present and validate an in vitro model that has proven to be useful for standardized studies of cellular and histological effects of cigarette smoke. The system consists of a cigarette smoke sampling device in which water-soluble cigarette smoke constituents pass over from the gas phase into the aqueous phase resulting in nicotine concentrations identical to the in vivo concentrations, suggesting in vivo similar conditions for gas-to-liquid compound exchange.