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Blood and Brain Based Biomarkers of Injury to Assess the Cerebrovascular Impact of Emerging Alternatives to Classic Cigarette Products

Principal Investigator(s): Luca Cucullo and Thomas Abbruscato
    
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority

ID number: 1R01DA049737-01

Award Date: August 15, 2019

Institution: Texas Tech University Health Science Center


While traditional measures exist for assessing cardiovascular and respiratory health in response to the short- and long-term effects of tobacco smoking and, to a lesser extent, e-cigarette use, more data concerning the cerebrovascular toxicity of these products would be useful. The goals of this study are to investigate the impact of cigarette smoking vs. e-cigarette use on the brain microvascular environment; validate selected biomarkers associated with pro-thrombotic alteration of blood hemostasis (increased risk of stroke) and severity of post-ischemic brain injury in response to chronic exposure to tobacco smoking and/or e-cigarette use; and evaluate the relevance of selected biomarkers in assessing e-cigarette vs. tobacco smoking harm with respect to blood-brain barrier viability, neurovascular inflammation, onset of stroke, and stroke outcome. Study aims are: (1) to assess the cerebrovascular impact of e-cigarette vaping and JUULing vs. tobacco smoking in mice and develop potential biomarkers to determine harm/toxicity; and (2) to evaluate and validate the impact of chronic exposure to e-cigarettes and JUUL vs. tobacco smoking on the risk of stroke, secondary brain damage, and post-ischemic neurological impairments in mice. To address Aim 1, researchers will compare the harm/toxicity of vaping/JUULing vs. tobacco smoking on the blood-brain barrier and will evaluate potential biomarkers of harm. To address Aim 2, researchers will compare the impact of tobacco smoking and vaping/JUULing on brain vascular damage, focusing specifically on the impact on stroke risk and outcomes using brain and blood-based biomarkers specific to inflammation, hemostasis and antioxidative response that were evaluated in Aim 1. Findings may inform regulatory activities related to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and JUUL.
 

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