Maternal smoking and foetal brain outcome: mechanisms and possible solutions

Academic Press-Elsevier.
Publication Type:
The Neuroscience of Nicotine: Mechanisms And Treatment., 2019, 1st
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Although it is well known that maternal cigarette smoke exposure (SE) is detrimental to the health of children, more than 20% of women continue to smoke during pregnancy. Children exposed to maternal smoking in utero have changes in their brain structure and size, often accompanied by cognitive defects. This may be due to increased brain oxidative stress and inflammatory response in the neonatal period, leading to neuron damage in adulthood. The mitochondria, a major source of cellular oxidative stress, are particularly vulnerable to the damage caused by the free radicals they produce. Interestingly, the female offspring seem to be protected by such adverse impact of maternal smoking. This chapter will specifically review the changes in brain inflammation and oxidative stress and the mechanism of mitophagy machinery. Potential therapeutic strategies will be suggested to mitigate the impact of maternal smoking.
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