E-Cigarette Exposure Decreases Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Aug 14;12(8):2292. doi: 10.3390/cancers12082292.


Electronic cigarettes (E-cigs) generate nicotine containing aerosols for inhalation and have emerged as a popular tobacco product among adolescents and young adults, yet little is known about their health effects due to their relatively recent introduction. Few studies have assessed the long-term effects of inhaling E-cigarette smoke or vapor. Here, we show that two months of E-cigarette exposure causes suppression of bone marrow hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Specifically, the common myeloid progenitors and granulocyte-macrophage progenitors were decreased in E-cig exposed animals compared to air exposed mice. Competitive reconstitution in bone marrow transplants was not affected by two months of E-cig exposure. When air and E-cig exposed mice were challenged with an inflammatory stimulus using lipopolysaccharide (LPS), competitive fitness between the two groups was not significantly different. However, mice transplanted with bone marrow from E-cigarette plus LPS exposed mice had elevated monocytes in their peripheral blood at five months post-transplant indicating a myeloid bias similar to responses of aged hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) to an acute inflammatory challenge. We also investigated whether E-cigarette exposure enhances the selective advantage of hematopoietic cells with myeloid malignancy associated mutations. E-cigarette exposure for one month slightly increased JAK2V617F mutant cells in peripheral blood but did not have an impact on TET2-/- cells. Altogether, our findings reveal that chronic E-cigarette exposure for two months alters the bone marrow HSPC populations but does not affect HSC reconstitution in primary transplants.

Keywords: electronic cigarette; hematopoietic stem cell; lipopolysaccharide; myeloid progenitors; myeloproliferative neoplasm.