Effects of smoking during pregnancy on DNA damage and ROS level consequences in maternal and newborns’ blood

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2013;64(1):35-46. doi: 10.2478/10004-1254-64-2013-2232.


Some of the genotoxic/carcinogenic substances or metabolites in cigarette smoke are capable of passing through the placenta and harming a newborn’s health. Smoking is also known as a factor in the formation of oxidative damage and the main mechanism involved in the carcinogenic process. Predetermining this genotoxic risk can be successfully achieved by measuring certain parameters of oxidative stress. The comet assay is considered an important biomarker for the evaluation of genotoxic substances and is effective for detecting DNA damage caused by smoking. This study examined third trimester bloods and the cord blood of 28 actively smoking and 22 non-smoking mothers in terms of DNA damage and oxidative stress parameters. Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (CAT), plasma nitrite/nitrates (NO2-/NO3-), selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (Se-GPx), Cu, and Zn levels were measured as indicators of oxidative damage. There were no significant increases in DNA damage of the actively smoking pregnant group in comparison with the non-smoking pregnant group, either in the third trimester or cord blood. Oxidative stress parameters of smoker and non-smoker groups were statistically different for MDA (p<0.05), CuZn-SOD (p<0.01), Se-GPx (p<0.05) values while the difference was not significant for NO2-/NO3-, CAT, Zn, and Cu values. The same values were also investigated in cord blood,and only NO2/NO3-(p<0.01), Se-GPx (p<0.01 and CAT (p<0.001) values were found statistically different.Smoking mothers may have been exposed to more oxidative stress than non-smoking mothers

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • DNA Damage
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / blood*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood*
  • Smoking / blood*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase