Does maternal nicotine exposure during gestation and lactation change the oxidant-antioxidant status of the lungs of the offsprings and is tomato juice protecting the lungs of the offsprings?
Abdulkarim, Kayigire Xavier
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Nicotine exposure to the fetus through tobacco smoking or nicotine replacement therapy during the whole period of gestation and lactation causes diverse effects on fetal and neonatal lung development, integrity and maturation which compromise the gas exchange function of the lungs and renders this vital organ susceptible to gradual damage and different diseases in latter life. Maternal nicotine exposure during gestation and lactation results in gradual destruction of the lung parenchyma, and this leads to the combination of many small air sacs in one bigger alveoli which is a sign of emphysema. Many researchers speculated that the way in which, nicotine causes emphysema and other damage, is by inducing the formation of many reactive oxygen species (ROS), and creating an imbalance between the oxidants and the antioxidants of the body, which is termed oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of nicotine exposure on the lung of the fetal and neonate rat during gestation and lactation as gas exchanger, and also to see whether the supplementation of tomato juice containing lycopene, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant could protect the lungs against these effects of maternal nicotine exposure. In this study pregnant rats have been divided into 4 groups: a group which received nicotine (1mg/kg body weight/day) subcutaneously, a group that received the tomato juice only (6mg/kg body weight/day per os), a third group that received the combination of tomato juice ( 6mg /kg body weight/ day per os) and nicotine (1mg/kg body weight /day subcutaneously ) . The control group that received saline (1mg/kg body weight /day) subcutaneously and water. The injections were done during pregnancy and lactation until weaning at postnatal day 21. The results showed that maternal nicotine exposure during gestation and lactation leads to a gradual damage of the lung parenchyma and slower formation of the alveoli during the equilibrated phase of the lung growth leading to a decrease in the internal surface area required for gas exchange. Supplementation with tomato juice during gestation and lactation prevents all the adverse effects of maternal nicotine exposure on the lungs of the offspring. Since nicotine induce an increase in the oxidant levels of the mother and the fetus, my results imply that lycopene protected the lungs of the offsprings against the oxidants and thus against changes in the program that controls lung development as the animals age. This is supported by the observation that at postnatal day 84 the antioxidant.