Event Abstract

Of mice and Men; Neurobehavioral and toxicological effects of e-cigarettes exposure.

  • 1 PHE, Toxicology, United Kingdom
  • 2 St George's University of London, Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, United Kingdom

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have proved very popular with smokers and a meteoric rise in their usage is currently under way. People purchase them as an aid to giving up smoking, to reduce cigarette consumption, to minimise withdrawal symptoms in environments that ban smoking, and in order to continue smoking with decreased health risks. Although the safety and impact on health of e-cigarettes, especially after long-term use, has not been evaluated, they are generally considered to be far safer alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes. This decrease in toxicity is predicted as a consequence of the absence or significantly reduced levels of the majority of toxicants in e-cigarette vape compared to tobacco smoke. However, there is evidence that the presence of nicotine in nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) can still generate carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines, albeit at very low concentrations in comparison with tobacco smoke. These nitrosamines are oesophageal and pulmonary carcinogens therefore nicotine delivery to the lung by e-cigarettes may carry an additional risk than other NRT. Additionally, nicotine itself is not without risk. Consequently, it is imperative to ascertain the toxicity risk of consuming nicotine through e-cigarettes. Our pilot study will monitor levels of nicotine, cotinine and carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the urine of heavy smokers (>10 cigarettes/day) who give up smoking and completely transition to e-cigarette use for a period of 4 weeks. Levels of other biomarkers which are known to be associated with smoking toxicity, such as DNA adducts and DNA methylation, will also be monitored in biological fluids of these subjects. Moreover, cigarette craving, mood, anxiety, social anxiety, well-being status and stress hormones (cortisol, oxytocin) will be measured throughout the transition from cigarette to e-cigarette use for 4 weeks to assess the psychological effect of the transition. Finally, brain electrical activity will be measured by electroencephalography pre- and post- transition to e-cigarette use. Study compliance will be monitored by expired carbon monoxide and urinary anabasine. A parallel study will be conducted in mice whereby nose only exposure to e-cigarette vape for a period of 90 days will be assessed for the aforementioned markers. Additionally, quantitative receptor autoradiography will be carried out in brains of these animals to investigate the effect of exposure to e-cigarette vapour on NMDA glutamate receptors, dopamine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (e.g. alpha4beta2 nAChRs) and cholinergic transporters in different brain regions. Overall, the results from these studies will provide important information on the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation which we anticipate will drive policy decisions with respect to e-cigarettes and their use.

Keywords: Smoking Cessation, electronic cigarettes, EEG, Nitrosamines, smokefreebrain

Conference: SAN2016 Meeting, Corfu, Greece, 6 Oct - 9 Oct, 2016.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation in SAN 2016 Conference

Topic: Oral Presentations

Citation: Marczylo T, Goldsmith N, Zhuikova E and Bailey A (2016). Of mice and Men; Neurobehavioral and toxicological effects of e-cigarettes exposure.. Conference Abstract: SAN2016 Meeting. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2016.220.00019

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Received: 29 Jul 2016; Published Online: 30 Jul 2016.

* Correspondence: Dr. Tim Marczylo, PHE, Toxicology, Oxford, Please select one, OX11 0RQ, United Kingdom, tim.marczylo@phe.gov.uk