Acute exposure to waterpipe tobacco smoke induces changes in the oxidative and inflammatory markers in mouse lung

Inhal Toxicol. 2012 Aug;24(10):667-75. doi: 10.3109/08958378.2012.710918.


Context: Tobacco smoking represents a global public health threat, claiming approximately 5 million lives a year. Waterpipe tobacco use has become popular particularly among youth in the past decade, buttressed by the perception that the waterpipe "filters" the smoke, rendering it less harmful than cigarette smoke.

Objective: In this study, we examined the acute exposure of waterpipe smoking on lung inflammation and oxidative stress in mice, and compared that to cigarette smoking.

Materials and methods: Mice were divided into three groups; fresh air control, cigarette and waterpipe. Animals were exposed to fresh air, cigarette, or waterpipe smoke using whole body exposure system one hour daily for 7 days.

Results: Both cigarette and waterpipe smoke exposure resulted in elevation of total white blood cell count, as well as absolute count of neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes (P < 0.01). Both exposures also elevated proinflammatory markers such as TNF-α and IL-6 in BALF (P < 0.05), and oxidative stress markers including GPx activity in lungs (P < 0.05). Moreover, waterpipe smoke increased catalase activity in the lung (P < 0.05). However, none of the treatments altered IL-10 levels.

Discussion and conclusion: Results of cigarette smoking confirmed previous finding. Waterpipe results indicate that, similar to cigarettes, exposure to waterpipe tobacco smoke is harmful to the lungs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atmosphere Exposure Chambers
  • Biomarkers
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Filtration / methods*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Jordan
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Mucosa / enzymology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / immunology
  • Smoking / metabolism*
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Water
  • Oxidoreductases