Nicotine Exposure during Rodent Pregnancy Alters the Composition of Maternal Gut Microbiota and Abundance of Maternal and Amniotic Short Chain Fatty Acids

Metabolites. 2022 Aug 9;12(8):735. doi: 10.3390/metabo12080735.


Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Numerous reports link smoking in pregnancy with serious adverse outcomes, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, low birth weight, perinatal morbidity, and infant mortality. Corollaries of consuming nicotine in pregnancy, separate from smoking, are less explored, and the mechanisms of nicotine action on maternal-fetal communication are poorly understood. This study examined alterations in the maternal gut microbiome in response to nicotine exposure during pregnancy. We report that changes in the maternal gut microbiota milieu are an important intermediary that may mediate the prenatal nicotine exposure effects, affect gene expression, and alter fetal exposure to circulating short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and leptin during in utero development.

Keywords: SCFA; microbiota; pregnancy; smoking.