Navigation Links
Nicotine exposure in pregnant rats puts offspring at risk for learning disabilities

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy leads to a decrease in adult stem cells and a change in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of the offspring, according to new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego in November. Researchers say this could be a possible cause for behavioral problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) seen in children whose mothers smoked.

Adult stem cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain most connected to learning and memory, continue to divide and produce new cells over a lifetime. The UAB team showed that exposing rats to nicotine during pregnancy leads to a decrease in the number of new cells in the hippocampus.

"Failure to correctly incorporate newborn cells into the circuitry of the hippocampus and the resulting disruption of neural pathways essential to learning could account for some of the behavioral problems observed later in the lives of children of mothers who smoke during pregnancy," said Robin Lester, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology and primary investigator. "These problems could include various cognitive deficits, learning difficulties, ADHD and an increased predisposition to drugs of abuse."

The World Health Organization reports that approximately 20 percent of women continue to smoke during pregnancy. Lester says the findings indicate that the insult resulting from gestational nicotine exposure may be one cause for learning disabilities in children and could provide a brain-circuitry mechanism accounting for these behavioral problems.

"Nicotine, along with other addictive drugs such as cocaine and morphine, have been shown to have similar effects on newborn cells when given to older animals, but our new results with nicotine suggest that these effects are more dramatic in newborns and may indicate increased risk and/or susceptibility for damage to the learning processes during pregnancy," said Shay Hyman, a doctoral student in Lester's laboratory. "These studies should provide further reasons and/or warnings to expectant mothers that they should seek help in refraining from smoking during pregnancy."

Lester says that that it will be essential to repeat these findings under conditions that more accurately resemble human smoking behavior. This can be done by allowing rats to press a lever in order to deliver nicotine when they want, thereby effectively giving them free will to "smoke" rather than continuously exposing them to the drug.


Contact: Bob Shepard
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Related medicine news :

1. Nicotine replacement therapy is over-promoted since most ex-smokers quit unassisted
2. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1.1 Million For Clinical Trial of Transdermal Nicotine as Disease-Modifying Treatment For Parkinsons
3. Nicotine Withdrawal Can Complicate Hospital Care
4. Kids Could Overdose From Nicotine-Laced Candy
5. Berkeley study shows ozone and nicotine a bad combination for asthma
6. Nicotine binding to receptor linked to breast cancer cell growth
7. Exposure to secondhand smoke among children in England has declined since 1996
8. Jion Beijing Great Wall International Travel Agency Immediate Exposure to China Expo 2010
9. Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
10. Imaging manufacturers: Plan to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure and medical errors
11. MSU researcher links potentially deadly infection, frequent cow exposure
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC ... J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the claimant David ... 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, 2010 he ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched ... Classic sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates ... how well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, ... fatalities on our nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since ... 10,076 in 2013. , According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract Development and ... of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing facility outside ... its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing research and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, the Regenestem ... cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the U.S. Patent ... (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in order to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New Investors ... Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The financing ... its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment of ... pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the U.S. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- --> --> ... das Patent über eine neue Hepatitis-B-Behandlung, welches sie gemeinsam ... Enyo Pharma vergeben haben. Im Rahmen ... von Edelris gemeinsam mit seinen Partnern Inserm und Poxel ... identifiziert, und es wurden neue Inhaltsstoffe entdeckt, die zu ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN CARLOS, Calif. , Nov. 24, ... ), a leader in non-invasive genetic testing ... today announced that it will present at ... Conference in New York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ... discuss the Company,s financial results, business activities ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: