Navigation Links
New research explains link between smoking and SIDS

Hamilton, ON. January 29, 2007 A new study sheds light on the relationship between women who smoke while pregnantor are exposed to second-hand smokeand an increased risk of SIDS to their babies.

Researchers at McMaster University have found a mechanism that explains why an infants ability to respond to oxygen deprivation after birthor a hypoxic episodeis dramatically compromised by exposure to nicotine in the womb, even light to moderate amounts.

The findings are published online in the journal Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and will appear in the May 2008 print issue.

While cigarette smoke contains many different compounds, we found there is a direct impact of one component, nicotine, on the ability of certain cells to detect and respond to oxygen deprivation, says Josef Buttigieg, lead author and a PhD graduate student in the department of Biology. When a baby is lying face down in bed, for example, it should sense a reduction in oxygen and move its head. But this arousal mechanism doesnt work as it should in babies exposed to nicotine during pregnancy.

The research, which was conducted on laboratory rats in collaboration with Dr. Alison Holloway, explains the critical role that catecholaminesa group of hormones released by the adrenal glandsplay in a babys transition to the outside world.

During birth, the baby is exposed to low oxygen, which signals the adrenal glands to release the catecholamines, which contain adrenaline, or the fight or flight hormone, explains Buttigieg.

It is these catecholamines that signal the babys lungs to reabsorb fluid, to take its first breath, and help the heart to beat more efficiently. And for some months after birth, the adrenal gland still acts as an oxygen sensor, aiding in the babys arousal and breathing responses during periods of apnea or asphyxia. But the ability to release catecholamines during these momentsa critical event in the adaptation of life outside the wombis impaired due to nicotine exposure.

At birth, the nervous control of the adrenal gland is not active and so a baby relies on these direct oxygen sensing mechanisms to release catecholamines, says Colin Nurse, academic advisor on the study and a professor in the department of Biology. But nicotine causes premature loss of these mechanisms, which would normally occur later in development after nervous control is established. Thus, the infant becomes much more vulnerable to SIDS.


Contact: Michelle Donovan
McMaster University

Related biology news :

1. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
4. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
5. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
6. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
7. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/10/2015)... , Sept. 10, 2015 Pursuant Health ... Wellness to create an interactive, image-based health risk ... and wellness kiosk.  The unique assessment quantifies user ... number that suggests an individual,s biological age based ... as measured by the kiosk. Comprised ...
(Date:9/9/2015)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Sept. 9, 2015 ... achieved numerous organizational and solution-based milestones, furthering the ... the perils of online fraud. NuData ... key in enhancing the company,s growth cycle. The ... machine learning to determine good user behavior from ...
(Date:9/8/2015)...  Affectiva, global leader in emotion-sensing and analytics, ... new data solution, and version 2.0 of its ... accurate and patented science, these new offerings provide ... industries such as market research, gaming, media and ... education, HR, automotive, robotics, healthcare and wearables. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... LifeTrak , a leader ... LifeTrak Zoom, the world’s first amphibious fitness tracker that seeks to meet the needs ... and accurate heart rate monitoring both in water and on land, making ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Oct. 9, 2015 On October 8, the ... Record her statement recognizing the third annual International Plasma ... is sponsored by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association ... to:   , Raise global awareness about plasma ... in saving and improving lives , Increase understanding ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , Oct. 9, 2015  Pulmatrix, Inc., ... presentation at two upcoming investor conferences. th ... at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). --> ... 20, 2015 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). ... James 2015 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, October ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Fla. , Oct. 8, 2015   Intrexon ... synthetic biology, today announced the appointment of Joseph ... Environment Sector, succeeding Nir Nimrodi who continues ... Vaillancourt will direct Intrexon,s endeavors to generate sustainable, biologically ... America , where he held a variety of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: