Prenatal nicotine exposure alters respiratory long-term facilitation in neonatal rats

D. D. Fuller, B. J. Dougherty, M. S. Sandhu, N. J. Doperalski, C. R. Reynolds, L. F. Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Intermittent hypoxia can evoke persistent increases in ventilation (over(V, ̇)E) in neonates (i.e. long-term facilitation, LTF) (Julien et al., 2008). Since prenatal nicotine (PN) exposure alters neonatal respiratory control (Fregosi and Pilarski, 2008), we hypothesized that PN would influence LTF of ventilation (over(V, ̇)E) in neonatal rats. An osmotic minipump delivered nicotine 6 mg/kg per day or saline to pregnant dams. over(V, ̇)E was assessed in unanesthetized pups via whole body plethysmography at post-natal (P) days 9-11 or 15-17 during baseline (BL, 21% O2), hypoxia (10 × 5 min, 5% O2) and 30 min post-hypoxia. PN pups had reduced BL over(V, ̇)E (p < 0.05) but greater increases in over(V, ̇)E during hypoxia (p < 0.05). Post-hypoxia over(V, ̇)E (i.e. LTF) showed an age × treatment interaction (p < 0.01) with similar values at P9-11 but enhanced LTF in saline (30 ± 8%BL) vs. PN pups (6 ± 5%BL; p = 0.01) at P15-17. We conclude that the post-natal developmental time course of hypoxia-induced LTF is influenced by PN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 31 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental plasticity
  • Hypoxia
  • Neonatal
  • Nicotine
  • Prenatal
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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