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Respir Res ; 21(1): 154, 2020 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331943


Electronic cigarette (e-cig) vaping is increasing rapidly in the United States, as e-cigs are considered less harmful than combustible cigarettes. However, limited research has been conducted to understand the possible mechanisms that mediate toxicity and pulmonary health effects of e-cigs. We hypothesized that sub-chronic e-cig exposure induces inflammatory response and dysregulated repair/extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, which occur through the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRα7). Adult wild-type (WT), nAChRα7 knockout (KO), and lung epithelial cell-specific KO (nAChRα7 CreCC10) mice were exposed to e-cig aerosol containing propylene glycol (PG) with or without nicotine. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) and lung tissues were collected to determine e-cig induced inflammatory response and ECM remodeling, respectively. Sub-chronic e-cig exposure with nicotine increased inflammatory cellular influx of macrophages and T-lymphocytes including increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in BALF and increased SARS-Cov-2 Covid-19 ACE2 receptor, whereas nAChRα7 KO mice show reduced inflammatory responses associated with decreased ACE2 receptor. Interestingly, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), such as MMP2, MMP8 and MMP9, were altered both at the protein and mRNA transcript levels in female and male KO mice, but WT mice exposed to PG alone showed a sex-dependent phenotype. Moreover, MMP12 was increased significantly in male mice exposed to PG with or without nicotine in a nAChRα7-dependent manner. Additionally, sub-chronic e-cig exposure with or without nicotine altered the abundance of ECM proteins, such as collagen and fibronectin, significantly in a sex-dependent manner, but without the direct role of nAChRα7 gene. Overall, sub-chronic e-cig exposure with or without nicotine affected lung inflammation and repair responses/ECM remodeling, which were mediated by nAChRα7 in a sex-dependent manner.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia/metabolism , Vaping/adverse effects , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Blood Gas Analysis , Blotting, Western , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19 , Cytokines/analysis , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Pandemics , Pneumonia/physiopathology , Random Allocation , Reference Values , Role , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Signal Transduction/genetics
Toxics ; 8(3)2020 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224244


Recently, there has been an outbreak associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products, associated lung injury (EVALI). The primary components of vaping products, vitamin E acetate (VEA) and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), may be responsible for acute lung toxicity. Currently, little information is available on the physiological and biological effects of exposure to these products. We hypothesized that these e-cig vape cartridges and their constituents (VEA and MCT) induce pulmonary toxicity, mediated by oxidative damage and inflammatory responses, leading to acute lung injury. We studied the potential mechanisms of e-cig vape cartridge aerosol induced inflammatory response by evaluating the generation of reactive oxygen species by MCT, VEA, and cartridges and their effects on the inflammatory state of pulmonary epithelium and immune cells both in vitro and in vivo. Cells exposed to these aerosols generated reactive oxygen species, caused cytotoxicity, induced epithelial barrier dysfunction, and elicited an inflammatory response. Using a murine model, the parameters of acute toxicity to aerosol inhalation were assessed. Infiltration of neutrophils and lymphocytes was accompanied by significant increases in IL-6, eotaxin, and G-CSF in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). In mouse plasma, eicosanoid inflammatory mediators, leukotrienes, were significantly increased. Plasma from e-cig users also showed increased levels of hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETEs) and various eicosanoids. Exposure to e-cig vape cartridge aerosols showed the most significant effects and toxicity compared to MCT and VEA. In addition, we determined SARS-CoV-2 related proteins and found no impact associated with aerosol exposures from these tested cartridges. Overall, this study demonstrates acute exposure to specific e-cig vape cartridges induces in vitro cytotoxicity, barrier dysfunction, and inflammation and in vivo mouse exposure induces acute inflammation with elevated proinflammatory markers in the pathogenesis of EVALI.