Abstract Title:

Monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity of flavoured e-cigarette liquids.

Abstract Source:

Neurotoxicology. 2019 Sep 16. Epub 2019 Sep 16. PMID: 31536738

Abstract Author(s):

Penelope Truman, Stephen Stanfill, Ali Heydari, Elana Silver, Jefferson Fowles

Article Affiliation:

Penelope Truman


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Monoamine oxidase inhibitors have been hypothesised to be important in tobacco dependence, reinforcing the brain's response to nicotine by delaying the degradation of neurotransmitters by monoamine oxidases. The development of electronic cigarettes has provided an alternative nicotine delivery system, which is widely viewed as less toxic than tobacco smoke. However, significant data gaps remain. This paper reports the results of measurements of monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity in a small sample of commercially available, flavoured e-liquids.

METHODS: Twelve e-liquids were tested for monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity, using the kynuramine assay and monoamine oxidase enzymes (human, recombinant). Control samples of carrier liquids, propylene glycol and glycerol, and nicotine were also tested.

RESULTS: Four e-liquids contained high levels of inhibitory activity, four more were moderately inhibitory. The remaining four e-liquids were mildly inhibitory, while the carrier liquids, and nicotine were inactive at relevant concentrations. The active compounds in the e-liquids were subsequently identified as vanillin and ethyl vanillin. Under some conditions of use, the sampled e-liquids with the highest concentrations of monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity have the potential to expose consumers to physiologically significant levels of MAO inhibitory activity.

CONCLUSIONS: While only a small sample of e-liquids was tested, the findings suggest that some flavours have pharmacological actions, with potential to enhance the response to nicotine or to other drugs. The public health implications of these preliminary findings on addiction and smoking cessation warrant exploration and further research.

Study Type : In Vitro Study
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