Gestational exposure of mice to secondhand cigarette smoke causes bronchopulmonary dysplasia blocked by the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamin

Academic Article


  • Background: Cigarette smoke (CS) exposure during gestation may increase the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)-a developmental lung condition primarily seen in neonates that is characterized by hypoalveolarization, decreased angiogenesis, and diminished surfactant protein production and may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Objective: We investigated whether gestational exposure to secondhand CS (SS) induced BPD and sought to ascertain the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in this response. Methods: We exposed BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice to filtered air (control) or SS throughout the gestation period or postnatally up to 10 weeks. Lungs were examined at 7 days, 10 weeks, and 8 months after birth. Results: Gestational but not postnatal exposure to SS caused a typical BPD-like condition: suppressed angiogenesis [decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptor, and CD34/CD31 (hematopoietic progenitor cell marker/endothelial cell marker)], irreversible hypoalveolarization, and significantly decreased levels of Clara cells, Clara cell secretory protein, and surfactant proteins B and C, without affecting airway ciliated cells. Importantly, concomitant exposure to SS and the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine during gestation blocked the development of BPD. Conclusions: Gestational exposure to SS irreversibly disrupts lung development leading to a BPD-like condition with hypoalveolarization, decreased angiogenesis, and diminished lung secretory function. Nicotinic receptors are critical in the induction of gestational SS-induced BPD, and the use of nAChR antagonists during pregnancy may block CS-induced BPD.
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    Author List

  • Singh SP; Gundavarapu S; Smith KR; Chand HS; Saeed AI; Mishra NC; Hutt J; Barrett EG; Husain M; Harrod KS
  • Start Page

  • 957
  • End Page

  • 964
  • Volume

  • 121
  • Issue

  • 8