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Investigation of the Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on Vascular Health

Principal Investigator: Roman Shingarev

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R03HL132570-01A1

Award Date: 9/12/2016

Institution: Sloan-Kettering Institute Cancer Research

Although e-cigarettes do not produce smoke and users are not exposed to tar and carbon monoxide, they deliver nicotine, which is the primary addictive component of tobacco. Nicotine has been shown to promote atherosclerosis by generating systemic oxidative stress, which leads to various adverse cardiovascular effects (i.e., lipid peroxidation, atherosclerotic plaque formation, endothelial dysfunction, vascular endothelial cell damage). The goal of this study is to establish the acute and chronic effects of e-cigarette use on inflammation, systemic oxidative stress, and endothelial toxicity in 60 subjects (20 nonsmokers, 20 established e-cigarette users, and 20 cigarette smokers; ages 18-35). Study aims are: (1) to characterize the effects of chronic e-cigarette smoking on systemic oxidative stress; (2) to determine the acute effects of e-cigarette smoking on endothelial cell integrity; and (3) to identify the effects of chronic e-cigarette usage on endothelial function. To achieve Aim 1, researchers will measure markers of oxidative stress (plasma and urinary levels of F2-isoprostanes) in nonsmokers, chronic e-cigarette users, and cigarette smokers. To achieve Aim 2, researchers will measure levels of endothelial progenitor cells (which increase as a result of endothelial injury) in e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers immediately before and after using an e-cigarette or smoking a cigarette, and compare these levels to those in nonsmokers. To achieve Aim 3, researchers will compare brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation measurements, expression of NFkB (a marker of vascular inflammation), and reduction in eNOS (an enzyme that is essential for cardiovascular health) in e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, and nonsmokers.

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