Fetal nicotine exposure increases preference for nicotine odor in early postnatal and adolescent, but not adult, rats

Nicole M. Mantella, Paul F. Kent, Steven Youngentob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human studies demonstrate a four-fold increased possibility of smoking in the children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy. Nicotine is the active addictive component in tobacco-related products, crossing the placenta and contaminating the amniotic fluid. It is known that chemosensory experience in the womb can influence postnatal odor-guided preference behaviors for an exposure stimulus. By means of behavioral and neurophysiologic approaches, we examined whether fetal nicotine exposure, using mini-osmotic pumps, altered the response to nicotine odor in early postnatal (P17), adolescent (P35) and adult (P90) progeny. Compared with controls, fetal exposed rats displayed an altered innate response to nicotine odor that was evident at P17, declined in magnitude by P35 and was absent at P90 - these effects were specific to nicotine odor. The behavioral effect in P17 rats occurred in conjunction with a tuned olfactory mucosal response to nicotine odor along with an untoward consequence on the epithelial response to other stimuli - these P17 neural effects were absent in P35 and P90 animals. The absence of an altered neural effect at P35 suggests that central mechanisms, such as nicotine-induced modifications of the olfactory bulb, bring about the altered behavioral response to nicotine odor. Together, these findings provide insights into how fetal nicotine exposure influences the behavioral preference and responsiveness to the drug later in life. Moreover, they add to a growing literature demonstrating chemosensory mechanisms by which patterns of maternal drug use can be conveyed to offspring, thereby enhancing postnatal vulnerability for subsequent use and abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere84989
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 17 2013

Fingerprint

nicotine
Odors
Nicotine
Rats
odors
rats
Mothers
Odorants
drugs
amniotic fluid
olfactory bulb
Tobacco
Olfactory Bulb
Amniotic Fluid
placenta
Tobacco Products
Pharmaceutical Preparations
pumps
Placenta
Animals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Fetal nicotine exposure increases preference for nicotine odor in early postnatal and adolescent, but not adult, rats. / Mantella, Nicole M.; Kent, Paul F.; Youngentob, Steven.

In: PloS one, Vol. 8, No. 12, e84989, 17.12.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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