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UNC TCORS: The Effects of New and Emerging Tobacco Products on Lung Hydration and Inflammation

Principal Investigator: Robert Tarran

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50HL120100-01

Award Date:  9/19/2013

Institution: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


Airway surface hydration is critical to normal lung function and defense against disease. This project will identify the tobacco smoke constituents and the emerging tobacco products that inhibit the epithelial mechanisms that maintain airway surface hydration.  Investigators will systematically compare the hydration responses (mucus/airway surface liquid [ASL] volume) of airway epithelia to new and emerging tobacco products and their constituents; they will also assess whether markers of ASL volume homeostasis constitute novel biomarkers of tobacco exposure. Experiments will use human bronchial airway epithelial cells and lung tissue obtained from transplanted donor lungs or donor lungs not suitable for transplantation. Specific aims are: (1) to determine which chemicals in tobacco smoke affect ASL nucleotide levels, ASL volume, and unfolded protein response in a human bronchial epithelial culture system (using Kentucky reference cigarettes); (2) to determine the impact of new and emerging tobacco products (e.g., little cigars, hookah) on ASL homeostasis and unfolded protein response in well-differentiated human bronchial epithelial cultures; and (3) to assess ASL nucleotide levels, ASL volume, and unfolded protein response as in vivo biomarkers of product exposure. This project will provide new information about the impact of tobacco smoke and emerging tobacco products on the lung’s innate defense system.


The Impact of Tobacco Exposure on the Lung's Innate Defense System (TCORS) Related Resources

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