90-day OECD 413 rat inhalation study with systems toxicology endpoints demonstrates reduced exposure effects of THS compared with cigarette smoke

Evaluation of the Tobacco Heating System 2.2. Part 4: 90-day OECD 413 rat inhalation study with systems toxicology endpoints demonstrates reduced exposure effects compared with cigarette smoke


Authored by  E T Wong, U Kogel, E Veljkovic, F Martin, Y Xiang, S Boue, G Vuillaume, P Leroy, E Guedj, G Rodrigo, NV Ivanov, J Hoeng, M Peitsch, P Vanscheeuwijck

Published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology    

Abstract

The objective of the study was to characterize the toxicity from sub-chronic inhalation of test atmospheres from the candidate modified risk tobacco product (MRTP), Tobacco Heating System version 2.2 (THS2.2), and to compare it with that of the 3R4F reference cigarette. A 90-day nose-only inhalation study on Sprague-Dawley rats was performed, combining classical and systems toxicology approaches. Reduction in respiratory minute volume, degree of lung inflammation, and histopathological findings in the respiratory tract organs were significantly less pronounced in THS2.2-exposed groups compared with 3R4F-exposed groups. Transcriptomics data obtained from nasal epithelium and lung parenchyma showed concentration-dependent differential gene expression following 3R4F exposure that was less pronounced in the THS2.2-exposed groups. Molecular network analysis showed that inflammatory processes were the most affected by 3R4F, while the extent of THS2.2 impact was much lower. Most other toxicological endpoints evaluated did not show exposure-related effects. Where findings were observed, the effects were similar in 3R4F- and THS2.2-exposed animals. In summary, toxicological changes observed in the respiratory tract organs of THS2.2 aerosol-exposed rats were much less pronounced than in 3R4F-exposed rats while other toxicological endpoints either showed no exposure-related effects or were comparable to what was observed in the 3R4F-exposed rats.