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Smoking Before, After Pregnancy Harms Daughters' Fertility
Date:11/21/2007

ndicated that the effects of PAHs on the number of follicles in female offspring were mediated through a receptor that affects the expression of a gene that makes a protein that causes cells to die. The researchers then demonstrated similar effects in human ovarian tissue transplanted into immunocompromised mice.

Jurisicova described the process: "Toxic compounds were injected under the skin of mice and were picked up by the bloodstream and carried throughout the body until they reached the ovaries. Once at the ovaries, they passed through the cell membrane and bound to the receptor. When this happens, it activates the receptor, which then enters the cell nucleus. The receptor then finds a specific DNA sequence that turns on the gene, which accumulates and eventually kills the eggs."

"This study now is providing a chemical pathway, which is very nice," said Dr. Norman Edelman, consultant for scientific affairs with the American Lung Association. The new data provides biological support for epidemiological results, such as the previously observed reduction in fertility among daughters of smoking women, he added.

Whether the news will have an impact on a woman's decision to smoke is another question, said Edelman.

"If we do our job right and these results get good press, this data could remind women of what they are doing to their unborn fetuses," Edelman said.

Another expert noted this latest finding adds to a growing body of evidence that shows a strong connection between smoking and fertility.

"I think it is an interesting study, but it doesn't add much new. Other studies have shown similar outcomes. The theory is that smoking could affect the follicles or the fallopian tubes," said Dr. Amos Grunebaum, director of obstetrics at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, in New York City. "We have known for many years that smoking affects fertility on many levels."

"The key is women should quit smok
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