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Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of sidestream cigarette smoke particulate matter of different particle sizes


Sidestream cigarette smoke, the major component of environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex and reactive aerosol. The particulate matter (PM) in sidestream smoke is one of the carriers of chemical constituents. However, particle size-dependent toxicological effects of PM are poorly understood. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between the PM size and in vitro cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of sidestream cigarette smoke. A NanoMoudi-II 125A was used to collect PM samples ranging from 10 nm to 10 μm. The in vitro toxicity of PM was evaluated using a neutral red cytotoxicity assay and Salmonella mutagenicity assay. The results showed that the cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of PM larger than 1 μm was significantly lower than PM sized 10 nm–1 μm. Furthermore, there was a noticeable trend that the smaller the size of the PM of sidestream cigarette smoke, the greater the toxicity. This study suggests that the toxicity of PM in sidestream cigarette smoke is size-dependent.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21007094, 21575162).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author information

Correspondence to Xiang Li or Zhuge Xi.

Additional information

Bencheng Lin is a co-first author.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Li, X., Lin, B., Zhang, H. et al. Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of sidestream cigarette smoke particulate matter of different particle sizes. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 2588–2594 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5483-6

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  • Sidestream cigarette smoke
  • Particle size
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Mutagenicity