Early exposure to thirdhand cigarette smoke affects body mass and the development of immunity in mice
Thirdhand smoke (THS) is the fraction of cigarette smoke that persists in indoor environments after smoking. We investigated the effects of neonatal and adult THS exposure on bodyweight and blood cell populations in C57BL/6 J mice. At the end of neonatal exposure, THS-treated male and female mice had significantly lower bodyweight than their respective control mice. However, five weeks after neonatal exposure ended, THS-treated mice weighed the same as controls. In contrast, adult THS exposure did not change bodyweight of mice. On the other hand, both neonatal and adult THS exposure had profound effects on the hematopoietic system. Fourteen weeks after neonatal THS exposure ended, eosinophil number and platelet volume were significantly higher, while hematocrit, mean cell volume, and platelet counts were significantly lower compared to control. Similarly, adult THS exposure also decreased platelet counts and increased neutrophil counts. Moreover, both neonatal and adult THS exposure caused a significant increase in percentage of B-cells and significantly decreased percentage of myeloid cells. Our results demonstrate that neonatal THS exposure decreases bodyweight and that THS exposure induces persistent changes in the hematopoietic system independent of age at exposure. These results also suggest that THS exposure may have adverse effects on human health.