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Impact of maternal cigarette smoke exposure on brain and kidney health outcomes in female offspring

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Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology

Published online on


Increased oxidative stress in the brain can lead to increased sympathetic tone that may further induce kidney dysfunction. Previously we have shown that maternal cigarette smoke exposure (SE) leads to significantly increased oxidative stress and inflammation in both brain and kidney, as well as reduced brain and kidney mitochondrial activity. This is closely associated with significant kidney underdevelopment and abnormal function in adulthood in the male offspring. This study aimed to investigate the impact of maternal SE on brain and kidney health in the female offspring. In this study, the mouse dams were exposed to two cigarettes, twice daily for 6 weeks prior to gestation, during pregnancy and lactation. Brains and kidneys from the female offspring were collected at 20 days (P20) and 13 weeks (W13) and were subject to further analysis. We found that mRNA expression of brain inflammatory markers interleukin‐1 receptor and Toll‐like receptor 4 were significantly increased in the SE offspring at both P20 and W13. Their brain mitochondrial activity markers were however increased at W13 with increased antioxidant activity. Kidney development and function in the female SE offspring were not different from the control offspring. We concluded that although brain inflammatory markers were upregulated in the SE female offspring, they were protected from some of the indicators of brain oxidative stress, such as endogenous antioxidant and mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as abnormal kidney development and function in adulthood.