E-cigarettes induce Cardiac Arrhythmia and Conduction Defects In Mice

In recent years, electronic cigarettes have become rapidly popular worldwide, despite growing evidence that they adversely impact cardiopulmonary health.

Further scientific evidence is needed to clarify the risks of e-cigarettes and guide the use and regulation of these nicotine aerosol delivery devices. The rapid adoption of e-cigarettes, especially amongst youth, has spurred a rush to elucidate the health implications of the inhalation of their aerosols.

A recent study by Dr. Carll et al. at the University of Louisville published in Nature Communications, has uncovered direct cardiovascular consequences such as the induction of spontaneous cardiac arrhythmias, changes in cardiac conduction properties, and autonomic reflexes in a mouse model of e-cigarette exposure.

This series of work, monitors real time cardiovascular electrophysiology during and after acute exposure sessions to e-cigarette aerosols or combustible cigarette smoke.

Highlights
  • E-cigarette vapour caused arrhythmia, and impaired supraventricular depolarization and ventricular repolarization, along with effects on the autonomic modulation of cardiac conduction.
  • E-cigarette exposure caused a dramatic decline in heart rate (HR) and prolongation of time-domain indices of heart rate variability (HRV).
  • E-cigarette aerosols containing menthol and nicotine, and those solely from propylene glycol, augmented the frequency of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in both male and female mice.
  • Sex-related differences in mid-exposure chronotropic sensitivity to e-cigarette aerosols were found, with males showing an increased susceptibility.
  • Using atropine, the authors demonstrated a partial role for the parasympathetic system in e-cigarette-induced impairment of ventricular repolarization.
  • This publication highlights that e-cigarette exposure may directly impact cardiovascular risk by affecting cardiac electrical stability and autonomic balance, and the magnitude and profile of impacts depends on the aerosol constituents.

References

E-cigarettes and their lone constituents induce cardiac arrhythmia and conduction defects in mice. Carl, A., et al. (2022). Nature Communications, 13(1):6088. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33203-1.

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