A Framework for In Vitro Systems Toxicology Assessment of e-Liquids


Authored by  A Iskandar, I Gonzalez-Suarez, S Majeed, D Marescotti, A Sewer, Y Xiang, P Leroy, E Guedj, C Mathis, JP Schaller, P Vanscheeuwijck, S Frentzel, F Martin, NV Ivanov, M Peitsch, J Hoeng

Published in Toxicology Mechanisms and MethodsĀ     

PMID: 27117495 

Abstract:

Various electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), of which electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are the most recognized prototype, have been quickly gaining ground on conventional cigarettes because they are perceived as less harmful. Research assessing the potential effects of ENDS exposure in humans is currently limited and inconclusive. New products are emerging with numerous variations in designs and performance parameters within and across brands. Acknowledging these challenges, we present here a proposed framework for an in vitro systems toxicology assessment of e-liquids and their aerosols, intended to complement the battery of assays for standard toxicity assessments. The proposed framework utilizes high-throughput toxicity assessments of e-liquids and their aerosols, in which the device-to-device variability is minimized, and a systems-level investigation of the cellular mechanisms of toxicity is an integral part. An analytical chemistry investigation is also included as a part of the framework to provide accurate and reliable chemistry data solidifying the toxicological assessment. In its simplest form, the framework comprises of three main layers: (1) high-throughput toxicity screening of e-liquids using primary human cell culture systems; (2) toxicity-related mechanistic assessment of selected e-liquids, and (3) toxicity-related mechanistic assessment of their aerosols using organotypic air–liquid interface airway culture systems. A systems toxicology assessment approach is leveraged to enable in-depth analyses of the toxicity-related cellular mechanisms of e-liquids and their aerosols. We present example use cases to demonstrate the suitability of the framework for a robust in vitro assessment of e-liquids and their aerosols.