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Pulmonary Toxicity and Inflammatory Response of E-Cigarette Vape Cartridges Containing Medium-Chain Triglycerides Oil and Vitamin E Acetate: Implications in the Pathogenesis of EVALI

Abstract

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.

Authors: Muthumalage T, Lucas JH, Wang Q, Lamb T, McGraw MD, Rahman I.
Journal: Toxics. 2020 Jun 28;8(3):46.
Year: 2020
PubMed: Find in PubMed