Catania February 26, 2021 – The Director of CoEHAR Giovanni Li Volti presented today at the 2021 meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) the study “The Role of cigarette smoke on ACE-2 protein-membrane expression in bronchial epithelial cells using an air-liquid interface model.”
The study aims to evaluate the effect of cigarette smoking on the expression of the ACE-2 protein in bronchial epithelial cells.
The research – presented during the panel entitled: “Multisystemic impact of nicotine exposure: Covid and Beyond” aims to understand the expression of ACE2 to demonstrate if there is a dangerous liaison between smokers and Sars-Cov – 2 or just a random correlation.
To achieve the best results, CoEHAR researchers used the “smoking machine”, a highly innovative tool that allows perfect imitation of what occurs inside the smoker’s respiratory tract during the act of smoking. Under normal conditions, this machine reads real exposure conditions within minutes.
The CoEHAR analysis (among the first in this field) has shown the non-correlation between the reduction of the expression of ACE 2, the protein through which the Covid-19 virus enters the human body, and the inflammatory response.
During his speech, Professor Li Volti also answered some specific questions about the penetration capacity of the SARS-COV-2 virus inside cells:
“One of the big barriers of the literature data is that the smoking habits of the courts studied doesn’t explain the discrepant data between clinical trials and in vitro data. There is an increasingly urgent need to reproduce the real habits of smokers. Our studies will be based in the future on acute exposures to understand the role of nicotine in this process “.