Secondhand smoke (SHS) has been associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes in nonsmokers, including emphysema (a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). One way to detect SHS exposure is to measure the concentration of cotinine, the primary metabolite of nicotine, in bodily fluids. We have developed a method for cotinine analysis by combining micellar electrokinetic chromatography with enrichment techniques. We employed the method to measure cotinine concentrations in serum samples of mice exposed to tobacco smoke for 12 or 24 weeks and found that it was 3.1-fold or 4.8-fold higher than those exposed to room air for the same period. Further, we investigated the morphological changes in lungs of mice and observed tobacco smoke induced emphysema. Our results indicate that the method can be used to measure cotinine and there is an association between the serum cotinine concentration and tobacco smoke-induced emphysema in mice.
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