Multigenerational transmission of nicotine-induced effects. The diagram illustrates the experimental design and findings of Rehan et al. . Pregnant dams (F0 generation) are injected with nicotine or nicotine + rosiglitazone. The lungs and gonads of both male and female offspring (F1 generation) of nicotine-treated dams exhibit epigenetic changes, and the lungs show an asthma-like functional phenotype (blue nicotine-induced changes). These nicotine effects are not seen in the offspring of animals treated with nicotine + rosiglitazone. Offspring of F1 mated pairs (F2 generation) exhibit the same nicotine-induced changes to lung function as their parents, even though they were not exposed to drug. It is not yet known whether the F2 offspring continue to exhibit alterations to the germ cell epigenome.
Leslie BMC Medicine 2013 11:27 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-27