Perinatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke upregulates nicotinic cholinergic receptors in monkey brain.


Journal Article

In humans, perinatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with neurobehavioral deficits. In the current study, we exposed Rhesus monkeys to ETS in late gestation and in the early neonatal period, and examined changes in neurotransmitter receptors in the brainstem and caudal portion of the cerebral cortex. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors were markedly upregulated and the effect was selective in that there were no changes in m(2)-muscarinic acetylcholine receptors or in beta-adrenergic receptors. Nicotinic receptor upregulation is indicative of chronic cell stimulation by nicotine, and is a hallmark of nicotine-induced neuroteratogenesis. These results indicate that perinatal ETS exposes the fetus and neonate to quantities of nicotine that are sufficient to alter brain development.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Slotkin, TA; Pinkerton, KE; Auman, JT; Qiao, D; Seidler, FJ

Published Date

  • February 28, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 175 - 179

PubMed ID

  • 11882347

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11882346

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-3806

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0165-3806(02)00281-x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands