Offspring sex affects the susceptibility to maternal smoking-induced lung inflammation and the effect of maternal antioxidant supplementation in mice.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of inflammation (London, England), 2020, 17, (1)
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Background:Cigarette smoke exposure (SE) during pregnancy is the largest modifiable risk factor for the development of lung disorders in offspring. We have previously shown that maternal L-Carnitine treatment can reduce the adverse impacts of maternal SE on renal and brain disorders in offspring. Here, we investigated the effect of maternal L-Carnitine supplementation on lung inflammatory pathways, autophagy, and mitophagy markers in the offspring in response to maternal SE. Methods:Female BALB/c mice (8 weeks) were exposed to cigarette smoke for 6 weeks prior to mating, during gestation and lactation. Some of the SE dams were given L-Carnitine supplementation (1.5 mM in drinking water, SE + LC) during gestation and lactation. Lungs from the offspring were studied at birth and adulthood (13 weeks). Results:At birth, in male offspring, there were increased levels of inflammatory markers (phosphorylated(p)-ERK1,2, p-P38 MAPK, p- NF-κB), and inflammasome marker (NLRP3), as well as mitophagy fission marker Drp-1 and autophagosome marker (LC3A/B-II) in the lung. Maternal L-Carnitine supplementation significantly reduced NLRP3 level. In contrast, maternal SE only increased IL1-β in female offspring, which was reversed by maternal L-Carnitine supplementation. At 13 weeks, there was an increase in LC3A/B-II and p- NF-κB in the male SE offspring with reduced p-JNK1,2, which were partially normalised by maternal L-Carnitine treatment. Female offspring were not affected by maternal SE at this age. Conclusion:Maternal SE had adverse impacts on the male offspring's lung, which were partially alleviated by maternal L-Carnitine supplementation. Females seem to be less affected by the adverse effects of maternal SE.
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