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Assessing Toxicity and in Vitro Bioactivity of Smoked Cigarette Leachate Using Cell-Based Assays and Chemical Analysis

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posted on 30.08.2019, 14:04 by Elvis Genbo Xu, William H. Richardot, Shuying Li, Lucas Buruaem, Hung-Hsu Wei, Nathan G. Dodder, Suzaynn F. Schick, Thomas Novotny, Daniel Schlenk, Richard M. Gersberg, Eunha Hoh
Smoked cigarettes are the most prevalent form of litter worldwide, often finding their way into oceans and inland waterways. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 individual chemicals, some of them carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. We examined the cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), estrogen receptor (ER), and p53 response pathways of smoked cigarette leachate in vitro. Both seawater and freshwater leachates of smoked cigarettes were tested. Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity were negligible at 100 smoked cigarettes/L, while statistically significant AhR, ER, and p53 responses were observed in the extracts of both leachates, suggesting a potential risk to human health through exposure to cigarette litter in the environment. To identify responsible chemicals for the AhR response, an effect directed analysis approach was coupled with nontargeted chemical analysis based on comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC/TOF-MS). Eleven compounds potentially responsible for the AhR response were identified. Among them, 2-methylindole was partially responsible for the AhR response.