Maternal Grandmother’s Smoking Affects Pediatric Asthma, Especially in Boys

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Virender Rehan, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Neonatology
Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program
Co-Director Perinatal Research Center
Harbor UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Torrance, CA, 90502

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Rehan: The main findings of the study include the likelihood of transmission of asthma to third generation offspring following maternal smoking during pregnancy even when child’s mother didn’t smoke. And these effects seem to be more profound in the upper airways of males compared to that in females.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Rehan: Although based on our previous studies, we hypothesized and predicted our data; these findings as such are surprising and very intriguing since the affected offspring is never directly exposed to nicotine, a key constituent of cigarette smoke that is known to cause offspring asthma following exposure to maternal smoke during pregnancy.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Rehan: Exposure to cigarette smoke during pregnancy can have really very-lasting pulmonary effects; in fact, these effects can be transmitted to many subsequent generations following exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy, reinforcing the avoidance to smoke/nicotine exposure during pregnancy.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Rehan: Among other questions, this study forces us to explore the role of epigenetics in maternal smoke exposure-induced asthma transmission and whether this transmission occurs via maternal or paternal germline transmission.

Citation:

Perinatal Nicotine-Induced Transgenerational Asthma

Virender K Rehan, Jie Liu, Reiko Sakurai, and John S. Torday

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol
ajplung.00078.2013;
published ahead of print August 2, 2013
doi:10.1152/ajplung.00078.2013