Presentation Authors: Panagiota Tsounapi*, Masashi Honda, Shogo Teraoka, Yusuke Kimura, Katsuya Hikita, Yonago, Japan, Fotios Dimitriadis, Thessaloniki, Greece, Nikolaos Sofikitis, Ioannina, Greece, Motoaki Saito, Nankoku-shi, Japan, Atsushi Takenaka, Yonago, Japan
Introduction: Cigarette smoke has been proved to detrimentally affect the sperm motility, morphology as well as the sperm fertilizing capacity. We selected nicotine as major addictive substance of cigarette smoke and investigated the post-fertilization effect of paternal exposure to nicotine and its abstinence on the development of the offspring.
Methods: Adult male rats were treated with nicotine dissolved in drinking water for 10 weeks (100Î¼g/ml, Nico group; n=20). Another group was treated with nicotine for 7 weeks (100Î¼g/ml) followed by 3 weeks of abstinence (Abst group; n=20). Control group had free access to drinking water during the experimental period (n=20). Nicotine is photosensitive; therefore, we used specially designed black bottles to prevent the nicotine solution from the light. Five days before completing the period of 10 weeks, mating studies were performed and susequently the male rats were sacrificed. Oxidative stress (OS) was evaluated in the testis and epididymis. Additionally, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed in the epididymal cauda for OS markers. The development of the offspring was recorded at postnatal days 2, 3, 5, 14 and 28.
Results: Nicotine induced significantly increase in the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the testis and epididymis of Nico group compared to Control or Abst group. IHC revealed increased expression of MDA, 4-hydroxynonenal and 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine in the epididymal cauda of the Nico group compared to Control or Abst group. Pups delivered from female rats that mated with male rats from Nico group had significantly lower body weight at all recorded postnatal days compared to the Control. Three weeks of abstinence resulted in pups with significantly higher body weight compared to Nico group in all postnatal points recorded, but significantly lower compared to the Control.
Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that paternal exposure to nicotine results into high levels of OS in the testis and epididymis and finally affects negatively the body weight and development of the offspring. Abstinence decreased the nicotine-induced OS parameters in the testis and epididymis and resulted into better offspring development. Maternal smoking during pregnancy leads to lower birth weight of the newborns. Here, we demonstrate the post-fertilization effect of paternal exposure to nicotine on the offspring development. Thus, it is a necessity to inform male smokers who wish to become fathers, that their habit will impact their child's development during the first stages of its life and encourage them to follow a cigarette cessation program.
Source of Funding: Grant-In-Aid (KAKENHI) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (25-03102)