In utero exposure to second-hand smoke aggravates the response to ovalbumin in adult mice.

Academic Article


  • Second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure in utero exacerbates adult responses to environmental irritants. We tested the hypothesis that effects of in utero SHS exposure on modulating physiological and transcriptome responses in BALB/c mouse lungs after ovalbumin (OVA) challenge extend well into adulthood, and that the responses show a sex bias. We exposed BALB/c mice in utero to SHS or filtered air (AIR), then sensitized and challenged all offspring with OVA from 19 to 23 weeks of age. At the end of the adult OVA challenge, we evaluated pulmonary function, examined histopathology, analyzed bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and assessed gene expression changes in the lung samples. All groups exhibited lung inflammation and inflammatory cell infiltration. Pulmonary function testing (airway hyperresponsiveness [AHR], breathing frequency [f]) and BALF (cell differentials, Th1/Th2 cytokines) assessments showed significantly more pronounced lung responses in the SHS-OVA groups than in AIR-OVA groups (AHR, f; eosinophils, neutrophils; IFN-γ, IL-1b, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, KC/CXCL1, TNF-α), with the majority of responses being more pronounced in males than in females. SHS exposure in utero also significantly altered lung gene expression profiles, primarily of genes associated with inflammatory responses and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer and lung fibrosis. Altered expression profiles of chemokines (Cxcl2, Cxcl5, Ccl8, Ccl24), cytokines (Il1b, Il6, Il13) and acute phase response genes (Saa1, Saa3) were confirmed by qRT-PCR. In conclusion, in utero exposure to SHS exacerbates adult lung responses to OVA challenge and promotes a pro-asthmatic milieu in adult lungs; further, males are generally more affected by SHS-OVA than are females.
  • Keywords

  • Acute-Phase Reaction, Animals, Bronchial Hyperreactivity, Chemokines, Cytokines, Female, Lung, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Ovalbumin, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Sex Characteristics, Tobacco Smoke Pollution, Up-Regulation
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Xiao R; Perveen Z; Rouse RL; Le Donne V; Paulsen DB; Ambalavanan N; Penn AL
  • Start Page

  • 1102
  • End Page

  • 1109
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 6