With the ban of conventional cigarettes from public spaces, electronic cigarette (E-cig) liquids have emerged as a nicotine replacement treatment for smoking cessation. However, consumers possess little knowledge of the ingredients and health effects of E-cig liquids following exposure. This study evaluated hair cell damage and developmental toxicities following gestational exposure to E-cig liquids. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to E-cig liquids at different concentrations (0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.4%). Embryonic developmental toxicity and hair cell damage was evaluated at 6 and 7 d, respectively, after fertilization. The average number of hair cells in the anterior lateral line (ALL) and posterior lateral line (PLL) following E-cig exposure was compared to that of the control. Morphological abnormalities and heart rate were evaluated. E-cig liquids significantly damaged the hair cells in the ALL, compared to the control (control; 52.85 ± 5.29 cells, 0.1% E-cig; 49.43 ± 7.70 cells, 0.2% E-cig; 40.68 ± 12.00 cells, 0.4% E-cig; 32.14 ± 20.75%; n = 29–40; p < 0.01). At high concentrations, E-cig liquids significantly damaged the hair cells in the PLL (control; 36.88 ± 5.43 cells, 0.1% E-cig; 33.06 ± 5.21 cells, 0.2% E-cig; 30.95 ± 8.03 cells, 0.4% E-cig; 23.72 ± 15.53%, n = 29–40; p < 0.01). No morphological abnormalities in body shape, somites, notochord, tail, and pectoral fin were observed; however, abnormalities were observed in the dorsal fin and heart rate at high concentrations. Thus, gestational exposure to E-cigs significantly damaged hair cells in a concentration-dependent manner and induced developmental toxicities to the dorsal fin and heart rate at high concentrations.
- Electronic cigarettes
- embryonic development
- hair cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis