Reduced adolescent risk-assessment and lower nicotinic beta-2 expression in rats exposed to nicotine through lactation by forcedly drinking dams

Alexis Faure, Francesca Zoratto, Doriana Chirico, Emilia Romano, Rosanna Mancinelli, Luciano Saso, Jacques Callebert, Giovanni Laviola, Sylvie Granon, Walter Adriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Few animal studies focus on consequences of nicotine postnatal exposure, particularly through lactation. We have recently shown that forced nicotine drinking elevates maternal care, paradoxically provoking arousal and stress in pups. Present work aimed to evaluate the specific contribution of altered maternal cares, compared to the sequelae merely due to nicotine effects. Two groups were compared to water-drinking control dams: (i) free-choice dams (H2O+NIC group) drinking from two bottles, containing either nicotine or water; (ii) forced dams (NIC+NIC group) drinking from two bottles, both containing nicotine. We previously demonstrated that nicotine was indeed transferred to the lactating offspring. Regarding behavioural consequences at adolescence, both H2O+NIC and NIC+NIC rats were slower than controls in discovering a novel over a familiar compartment, whilst only NIC+NIC rats exhibited reduced risk-related avoidance and assessment behaviour. Brain analyses at adulthood suggest that, in prefrontal cortex, nicotine per se reduced serotonin, while the maternal overcare reduced CHRN-B2 gene-expression. As a whole, unescapable nicotine-enhanced maternal care could have an impact on the offspring arousal by acting on prefrontal CHRN-B2 gene-expression. When present results are translated to consequences of non-voluntary exposure in humans, we propose that children receiving altered attentions by a smoking caregiver might undergo a neuro-behavioural development biased towards emotional shyness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience
Volume413
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2019

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior
  • Exploratory Behavior/drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Gene Expression/drug effects
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior/drug effects
  • Maternal Exposure/adverse effects
  • Nicotine/administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists/administration & dosage
  • Prefrontal Cortex/drug effects
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Nicotinic/metabolism
  • Risk-Taking
  • Serotonin/metabolism

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