Maternal nicotine exposure has severe cross-generational effects on offspring behavior

Meixing Zhang, Wangjie Xu, Guang He, Dong Zhang, Xianglong Zhao, Jingbo Dai, Jiajie Wu, Yong Cao, Zhaoxia Wang, Lianyun Wang, Zhongdong Qiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Our previous studies showed that paternal nicotine exposure can lead to hyperactivity in the offspring. Nevertheless, the cross-generational effects of maternal and biparental nicotine exposure remain unclear. In this study, female and male mice were exposed respectively by nicotine before pregnancy. The maternal pre-pregnancy nicotine exposure led to depression-like behaviors in the F1 offspring. However, after biparental pre-pregnancy nicotine exposure, seventy percentage of the offspring exhibited a depressive phenotype while 20% were hyperactive, and the remaining exhibited no obvious abnormal behavior. The cross-generational effects appeared to be mediated via disruption of the balance between GSK3 and p-GKS3 by nicotine. These results suggested that pre-pregnancy nicotine exposure can induce alterations in the behavior of the offspring, and the cross-generational effects of maternal nicotine exposure were particularly serious.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Behavior
  • Depression
  • Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3)
  • Nicotine
  • Pre-pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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