Gestational nicotine exposure reduces nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) expression in dopaminergic brain regions of adolescent rats.
ABSTRACT Children of women who smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk of dependence when smoking is initiated during adolescence. We previously reported that gestational nicotine exposure attenuated dopamine release induced by nicotine delivered during adolescence. In this study, we determined the effects of gestational nicotine exposure on nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) expression. Timed pregnant rats received nicotine (2 mg/kg/day) or vehicle via mini-osmotic pumps during gestation. Treatments continued in pups via maternal nursing during postnatal days (PN) 2-14 (equivalent to the human in utero third trimester). On PN35, 125I-epibatidine binding to nAChR was measured. The Bmax values (fmol/mg) in prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAcc), substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) were reduced by 26.6% (P<0.05), 32.6% (P<0.01), 23.0% (P<0.01) and 27.6% (P<0.05), respectively. In addition, gender differences were found in vehicle-treated groups; in SN and VTA, females were 79.3% (P<0.005) and 82.9% (P=0.08) of males, respectively. The expression of nAChR subunit mRNAs was measured using real-time RT-PCR on laser-capture microdissected tissues. In adolescent VTA, gestational nicotine exposure reduced (P<0.05) nAChR subunit mRNAs encoding alpha3 (53.0%), alpha4 (23.9%), alpha5 (46.7%) and beta4 (61.4%). In NAcc core, the treatment increased alpha3 mRNA (75.8%). In addition, the number of neurons in VTA was reduced by 15.0% (P<0.001). These studies indicate that gestational exposure to nicotine induces long-lasting changes in nAChR expression that may underlie the vulnerability of adolescents to dependence on nicotine.
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ABSTRACT: Developmental exposure to nicotine has been linked to long-lasting changes in synaptic transmission which may contribute to behavioral abnormalities seen in offspring of women who smoke during pregnancy. Here, we examined the long-lasting effects of developmental nicotine exposure on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission, and on acute nicotine-induced glutamate and GABA release in the adult hippocampus, a structure important in cognitive and emotional behaviors. We utilized a chronic neonatal nicotine treatment model to administer nicotine (6 mg/kg/day) to rat pups from postnatal day (P) 1-7, a period that falls developmentally into the third human trimester. Using whole-cell voltage clamp recordings from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices, we measured excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in neonatally control- and nicotine-treated young adult males. Neonatal nicotine exposure significantly increased AMPA receptor-mediated spontaneous and evoked excitatory signaling, with no change in glutamate release probability in adults. Conversely, there was no increase in spontaneous GABAergic neurotransmission in nicotine-males. Chronic neonatal nicotine treatment had no effect on acute nicotine-stimulated glutamate release in adults, but acute nicotine-stimulated GABA release was significantly attenuated. Thus, neonatal nicotine exposure results in a persistent net increase in excitation and a concurrent loss of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated regulation of presynaptic GABA but not glutamate release, which would exacerbate excitation following endogenous or exogenous nAChR activation. Our data underscore an important role for nAChRs in hippocampal excitatory synapse development, and suggest selective long-term changes at specific presynaptic nAChRs which together could explain some of the behavioral abnormalities associated with maternal smoking.Neuropharmacology 06/2014; · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tobacco use during pregnancy continues to be a major problem with more than 16% of pregnant women in the United States continuing to smoke during pregnancy. Tobacco smoke is known to contain more than 4,000 different chemicals, and while many of these compounds have the potential to interfere with proper neurodevelopment, there is direct evidence that nicotine, the major psychoactive substance present in tobacco, acts as a neuroteratogen. Nicotine activates, and subsequently desensitizes, neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes (AChRs), which are expressed in the developing central nervous system (CNS) prior to the in-growth of cholinergic neurons. Nicotinic AChRs are present by the first trimester of development in both humans and rodents, and activation of these receptors by acetylcholine is thought to play a critical role in CNS development. The purpose of the current review is to provide an overview of the role that nicotinic AChRs play in the developing CNS and to describe the effects of nicotine exposure during early development on neuronal cell biology, nicotinic AChR expression and neurotransmitter system (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin) function. In particular, differences that occur as a result of the timing and duration of nicotine exposure will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on preclinical studies examining particular periods of time which correspond to periods of prenatal development in humans (i.e., first, second and third trimesters). Finally, the effects of early nicotine exposure on neurobehavioral development as it pertains to specific disorders, i.e., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and addiction, will be discussed.Journal of pediatric biochemistry. 01/2010; 1(2):125-141.
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ABSTRACT: Prenatal cigarette smoke exposure (PCSE) has been linked to problems in behavioral inhibition and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children in several epidemiological studies. We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the effects of PCSE on neural correlates of inhibitory control of behavior. In a prospective longitudinal study on child development in the Canadian Arctic, we assessed 186 Inuit children (mean age=11.3years) on a visual Go/No-go response inhibition paradigm. PCSE was assessed through maternal recall. Potential confounders were documented from a maternal interview, and exposure to neurotoxic environmental contaminants was assessed from umbilical cord and child blood samples. PCSE was not related to behavioral performance on this simple response inhibition task. Nevertheless, this exposure was associated with smaller amplitudes of the N2 and P3 components elicited by No-go stimuli, suggesting an impairment in the neural processes underlying response inhibition. Amplitude of the No-go P3 component was also inversely associated with behavioral measures of externalizing problems and hyperactivity/impulsivity in the classroom. This study is the first to report neurophysiological evidence of impaired response inhibition in school-aged children exposed to tobacco smoke in utero. Effects were found on ERP components associated with conflict processing and inhibition of a prepotent response, indicating neurophysiological deficits that may play a critical role in the attention and behavior problems observed in children with PCSE.Neurotoxicology and Teratology 06/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor