Fetal nicotine exposure increases airway responsiveness and alters airway wall composition in young lambs

Kenneth L. Sandberg, Kent E Pinkerton, Stanley D. Poole, Patricia A. Minton, Håkan W. Sundell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

To test the hypotheses that fetal nicotine exposure alters airway wall composition and enhances the airway response to inhaled methacholine (MCh), lambs were exposed during the last fetal trimester to (1) a low dose (LN) (n= 13, 0.5. mg/kg/d (maternal weight) of free base nicotine, (2) a moderate dose (MN) (n= 10, 1.5. mg/kg/d) or (3) saline (n= 14). Studies were performed at postnatal days 12, 26 and 52. Prenatal nicotine exposure induced a dose- and age-related hyper-responsiveness to MCh in the proximal airways. Moment analysis of nitrogen decay curves showed no nicotine or MCh effects on ventilation homogeneity or gas-mixing efficiency in the distal airways during MCh inhalations suggesting a bimodal response. Fetal nicotine exposure increased epithelial mucosubstance volume in central (LN, MN) and distal bronchi (LN), increased smooth muscle volume in distal bronchi and bronchioles (LN) and decreased bronchiolar diameter (MN). In conclusion, third trimester nicotine exposure causes hyperreactive proximal airways and alters proximal airway wall composition associated with airflow limitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Volume176
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 30 2011

Keywords

  • Lung morphology
  • Maternal exposure
  • Nicotine
  • Respiratory mechanics
  • Sheep
  • Tobacco smoke pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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