Biological impact of cigarette smoke compared to an aerosol produced from a prototypic modified risk tobacco product on normal human bronchial epithelial cells.

Authored by  U Kogel, I Gonzalez-Suarez, Y Xiang, E Dossin, P Guy, C Mathis, D Marescotti, D Goedertier, F Martin, M Peitsch, J Hoeng

Published in Toxicology in Vitro     Volume 29, Issue 8, Pages 2102-2115

Cigarette smoking causes serious and fatal diseases. The best way for smokers to avoid health risks is to quit smoking. Using modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs) may be an alternative to reduce the harm caused for those who are unwilling to quit smoking, but little is known about the toxic effects of MRTPs, nor were the molecular mechanisms of toxicity investigated in detail.

The toxicity of an MRTP and the potential molecular mechanisms involved were investigated in high-content screening tests and whole genome transcriptomics analyses using human bronchial epithelial cells.

The prototypic (p)MRTP that was tested had less impact than reference cigarette 3R4F on the cellular oxidative stress response and cell death pathways. Higher pMRTP aerosol extract concentrations had impact on pathways associated with the detoxification of xenobiotics and the reduction of oxidative damage. A pMRTP aerosol concentration up to 18 times higher than the 3R4F caused similar perturbation effects in biological networks and led to the perturbation of networks related to cell stress, and proliferation biology.

These results may further facilitate the development of a systems toxicology-based impact assessment for use in future risk assessments in line with the 21st century toxicology paradigm, as shown here for an MRTP.