Parental smoking is a significant risk factor for developing smoking behavior and nicotine dependence in offspring. These findings suggest that parental nicotine exposure may promote addiction-like behaviors in subsequent generations. Given the significance of cigarette smoking for public health, preventing nicotine use among adolescents is critical to ending tobacco use disorder and decreasing e-cigarette use.
In a novel study published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) have discovered that paternal nicotine taking is associated with addiction-like behaviors, cognitive deficits, and anxiety-like behaviors in male offspring. These heritable effects were associated with reduced expression of Satb2, a transcription factor, in the hippocampus of male offspring. Increasing Satb2 expression in the hippocampus rescued the memory deficits associated with paternal nicotine taking in male offspring.
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