Aim: Despite its increasing popularity, little is known about the health effects of waterpipe smoking (WPS), particularly on the cardiovascular system. To investigate the role of WPS as a risk factor for vascular disease, we evaluated its effect on endothelial cell function, which is an early event in vascular disease pathogenesis. We assessed the changes in cell viability, ROS generation, inflammatory and vasodilatory markers and in vitro angiogenesis of human aortic endothelial cells in response to waterpipe smoke condensate exposure.
Methods and results: Mainstream waterpipe smoke condensate (WSC) was generated using a standard laboratory machine protocol. Compared to control, WSC induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and oxidative stress in human primary endothelial cells. In addition, we assayed for impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and induced inflammation by studying the effect of WPS on the content and activity of AMPK, eNOS proteins and NF-κB p65 ser536 phosphorylation, respectively. WSC inhibited AMPK/eNOS phosphorylation and induced phosphorylation of p65. Moreover, we evaluated endothelial cells repair mechanism related properties that include migration/invasion and in vitro tube formation upon treatment with WSC. WSC reduced the motility and inhibited angiogenic potential of HAEC cells.
Conclusions: WPS induced endothelial cell dysfunction as evident by exerting oxidative stress, inflammation, and impaired endothelial vasodilatory function and repair mechanisms. All together these data provide evidence for the potential contribution of WPS to endothelial dysfunction and thus to vascular disease.
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