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Center for the Study of Tobacco Products - Electronic Cigarette Use and Alveolar Macrophages: A Preliminary Study

Principal Investigator: Thomas Eissenberg and Alison Breland 

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 3U54DA036105-07S1

Award Date: 3/2/2020

Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University


Data from animal studies suggest that e-cigarette users may be at risk for a potentially debilitating condition called lipoid pneumonia. In this supplement to the Virginia Commonwealth University TCORS 2.0 parent grant, this supplement will collect pilot data relevant to the generalizability of lipoid pneumonia-related animal study data to humans. Study aims are: (1) to investigate lipid-laden macrophages in e-cigarette users, and (2) to characterize other disease biomarkers in e-cigarette users’ bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. To address Aim 1, researchers will recruit 10 high-wattage (i.e., >20 W) e-cigarette users (ages 21-55) with over one year of experience exclusively using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as well as an additional 10 never-e-cigarette-using, never-smoking controls. Using well-established methods, all 20 participants will undergo bronchoscopy and BAL to enable the collection of alveolar macrophages. Researchers will then compare the incidence of lipid-laden macrophages between groups. To satisfy Aim 2, researchers will determine the alveolar fluid composition differences in miRNA expression, extra-vesicle-miRNA, and microbiome profiles between the e-cigarette users and the control group. Findings may inform regulatory activities related to e-cigarette liquid constituents that have the potential to cause lung disease. 
 

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