Cigarette seriously affects human health, and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), considered as cigarette substitutes, become popular as its contribution to quit smoking. But scientific evidence about the absolute safety of e-cigarette is insufficient. Previous studies also have indicated that different dosages of cigarette can lead to different biological effects. Thus, the impact of cigarette at toxicological dose such as IC50 compared with that of e-cigarette are highly needed. In this study, we investigated the effects of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) at toxicological dose compared with e-cigarette smoke condensate (ECSC) in equivalent nicotine level. Nicotine content of CSC and ECSC were determined by UPLC. Human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) were exposed to 0-32 μg/ml of CSC and ECSC for 24 h to determine IC50 of cell viability and morphological assessment. Inflammation, apoptosis, cell cycle analysis and RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis were performed to characterize the differences between CSC and ECSC. We found that acute exposure of BEAS-2B cells to CSC at IC50 leaded to morphological change, inflammatory cytokines production and cell apoptosis, while ECSC did not exert such cell effects in equivalent nicotine level. The transcriptome analysis showed that differentially expressed genes in CSC were far more than that in ECSC, and mainly enriched in the category of cell cycle, DNA repair, cancer, and metabolic related pathways. Such cell cycle arrest was further experimentally confirmed. These results suggested that toxicological dose of ECSC might be much higher than that of CSC. Based on equivalent nicotine content, an acute exposure to CSC had significant impacts on cell effects and gene expression profile compared to ECSC. Our results provided a reference for the safety studies of conventional cigarette and e-cigarette.
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