A recent publication by UA SRP Investigator Dr. Scott Boitano and former UA SRP trainee Dr. Cara Sherwood shows the potential for high-capacity screening to assess cytotoxicity thresholds and physiological effects of toxicants. The team tested this technology using cigarette flavorings as potential toxic substances. Their protocol begins with a cytotoxicity evaluation of multiple e-cigarette additives (with full dose response curves). The next step is the use a high capacity screening of sub-cytotoxic profile of cellular signaling abnormalities induced by potentially harmful additives. The final step is to provide molecular details of how a particular flavoring induces cellular damage. The publication reveals toxicity thresholds and activation of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) by the chocolate flavoring 2,5-dimethylpyrazine. In addition to the published article, Boitano gave presentations on the experimental protocol at the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego (April 2016) and The International Impedance-Based Cellular Assays Conference in Regensburg, Germany (August 2016). Discussion following these presentations focused on using the platform for toxicity screening and mechanistic understanding. The ultimate goal of this work is to apply these techniques to better understand toxicity of inhalation exposures from environmental sources.
Sherwood CL, and Boitano S. Airway epithelial cell exposure to distinct e-cigarette liquid flavorings reveals toxicity thresholds and activation of CFTR by the chocolate flavoring 2,5-dimethypyrazine. Respir Res 17: 57, 2016.