Concentration of metals, ceruloplasmin, metallothionein and the activity of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase and gamma-glutamyltransferase in pregnant women who smoke and in those environmentally exposed to tobacco smoke and in their infants. Part I

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 1997;10(2):187-202.


Concentrations of metals (Zn, Cu, Se, Cd), metallotionein (MT) and ceruloplasmin (Cp), and the activity of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (gammaGT) in pregnant women who smoke and in passive smokers as well as in their newborns were measured. In smoking women a many-fold increase in cotinine concentrations in maternal and infant urine, amniotic fluid, placenta and milk was found as compared to passive smokers. Smoking lowered serum Se concentration in mothers and infants, increased serum ceruloplasmin in mothers and decreased serum Cu concentration in infants. Serum Zn level in infants was higher than in mothers, and smoking furthered its increase. Statistically significant increase in concentrations of Cd in placenta, amniotic fluid and milk, of Cu in placentae and amniotic fluid and of Zn in placenta and milk was revealed. Higher concentrations of metals were accompanied by an elevated MT level in placenta and amniotic fluid. In smoking women a significant increase in NAG activity in urine, amniotic fluid and milk, increase in gammaGT activity in urine and amniotic fluid and decrease in gammaGT activity in milk and placenta were observed. There was high, positive correlation between MT/NAG and MT/gammaGT in amniotic fluid of passive and active smokers, while similar correlation in milk was indicated only in the group of active smokers. The biochemical parameters analysed proved their usefulness in the evaluation of effects of exposure to cigarette smoke on pregnant woman and her fetus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosaminidase / analysis
  • Adult
  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry
  • Body Fluids / chemistry*
  • Ceruloplasmin / analysis
  • Cotinine / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Metallothionein / analysis
  • Metals / analysis
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Placenta / chemistry
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / metabolism*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / metabolism*
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / analysis


  • Metals
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Metallothionein
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Acetylglucosaminidase
  • Cotinine