Apoptosis and caspase-3 activity in isolated fetal rat lung cells, human A549 cells and rat periodontal ligament fibroblasts following exposure to cigarette smoke extract
Exposure cigarette smoke (CS) during prenatal life is the leading cause of preventable premature death. In this study, we explored the hypothesis that in vitro exposure of fetal lung cells to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) may result in the alteration of apoptosis through activation of caspase-3. Alongside we compared the responses of fetal lung cells with A549 cells and rat periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts exposed to CSE in a dose dependent manner. Caspase-3 activity and inhibition was measured using a fluorometric assay. Cell viability in smoke exposed cells was measured using MTT formazan assay. Caspase-3 expression and cellular localization was detected by western blot analysis and immunofluorescence. Our results indicate that caspase-3 activity was significantly (p < 0.05) elevated and cell viability was significantly inhibited in fetal rat lung cells exposed to 10% or 15 % (v/v) CSE. No significant differences were observed in the caspase-3 activity or cellular viability in A549 cells and rat PDL fibroblasts exposed to 5%, 10% or 15% (v/v) CSE. Activation of caspase-3 in fetal lung connective tissue and alveolar epithelial cells may be one of the reasons for the developmental pulmonary toxicity induced by CSE.