Prenatal nicotine exposure can lead to cardiac function reprogramming in adult offspring

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Smoking during pregnancy

At least 11 percent of American women smoke during pregnancy. The negative effects of nicotine exposure to their fetuses and newborns are significant. A 2004 report by the Surgeon General, for example, found that women who smoked during pregnancy had children who were at a three times higher risk for SIDS than were the offspring of non-smokers. Now, a new study using laboratory rats, provides strong evidence that the effects of maternal smoking during the prenatal period of life can lead to cardiac vascular dysfunction beyond the formative years -- and into adulthood.

The finding is part of a new study entitled Effect of Prenatal Nicotine Exposure on Coronary Flow in Adult Offspring: A Gender Dichotomy. It was conducted by Daliao Xiao, Jennifer Lawrence, Shumei Yang, and Lubo Zhang, all of the Center for Perinatal Biology, Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Loma Linda, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, San Bernardino, CA Dr. Zhang will lead a discussion of the findings at the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-APS.org), being held as part of the Experimental Biology (EB

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