Respiratory effects of exposure to aerosol from the candidate modified-risk tobacco product THS 2.2 in an 18-month systems toxicology study with A/J mice


Authored by  B Titz, A Sewer, K Luettich, E T Wong, E Guedj, C Nury, T Schneider, Y Xiang, K Trivedi, G Vuillaume, P Leroy, A Buettner*, F Martin, NV Ivanov, P Vanscheeuwijck, M Peitsch

Published in Toxicological Sciences    
* This author is not affiliated with PMI.

Abstract

Smoking cessation is the most effective measure for reducing the risk of smoking-related diseases. However, switching to less harmful products (modified risk tobacco products [MRTP]) can be an alternative to help reduce the risk for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. In an 18-month chronic carcinogenicity/toxicity study in A/J mice (OECD Test Guideline 453), we assessed the aerosol of Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS 2.2), a candidate MRTP based on the heat-not-burn principle, compared with 3R4F cigarette smoke (CS). To capture toxicity- and disease-relevant mechanisms, we complemented standard toxicology endpoints with in-depth systems toxicology analyses. In this part of our publication series, we report on integrative assessment of the apical and molecular exposure effects on the respiratory tract (nose, larynx, and lungs). Across the respiratory tract, we found changes in inflammatory response following 3R4F CS exposure (e.g., antimicrobial peptide response in the nose), with both shared and distinct oxidative and xenobiotic responses. Compared with 3R4F CS, THS 2.2 aerosol exerted far fewer effects on respiratory tract histology, including adaptive tissue changes in nasal and laryngeal epithelium and inflammation and emphysematous changes in the lungs. Integrative analysis of molecular changes confirmed the substantially lower impact of THS 2.2 aerosol than 3R4F CS on toxicologically and disease-relevant molecular processes such as inflammation, oxidative stress responses, and xenobiotic metabolism. In summary, this work exemplifies how apical and molecular endpoints can be combined effectively for toxicology assessment and further supports findings on the reduced respiratory health risks of THS 2.2 aerosol.