Principal Investigator(s): Reagan R. Wetherill
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority
ID number: 1R21HL144673-01A1
Award Date: September 13, 2019
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is an enzyme that is expressed in lung epithelium and causes inflammation, a common pathway for many types of lung disease. Researchers will measure lung inflammation using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [18F]-6-(1/2)(2-fluoro-propyl)-4-methylpyridin-2-amine ([18F]NOS), a new PET radiotracer that targets iNOS. The goal of the study is to use this technique to compare lung inflammation in adult (aged 18+) electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) users, cigarette smokers, and nonsmokers. Study aims are: (1) to quantify and localize the effects of ENDS use, cigarette smoking, and nonsmoking on lung inflammation, and (2) to examine the effect of ENDS use, cigarette smoking, and nonsmoking on biomarkers of airway and lung inflammation and lung function. To accomplish these aims, 60 subjects (three groups of 20: ENDS users, traditional cigarette smokers who report having smoked ≥10 cigarettes per day for the past year with no history of ENDS use or cannabis smoking, and nonsmoking controls) will complete self-report measures, undergo a one-hour [18F]NOS PET/CT (computed tomography) scan of the chest, provide a breath and blood sample for measurement of biomarkers of airway and lung inflammation, and complete lung function tests using spirometry. Researchers will compare biomarkers of airway (fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO)) and lung inflammation (proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-8) and lung function (forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced vital capacity (FVC)). Findings may inform regulatory activities related to ENDS.