Maternal tobacco use is associated with increased markers of oxidative stress in the placenta

Elena Sbrana, Melissa A. Suter, Adi R. Abramovici, Hal K. Hawkins, Joan E. Moss, Lauren Patterson, Cynthia Shope, Kjersti Aagaard-Tillery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to extend our prior observations and histopathologically characterize key metabolic enzymes (CYP1A1) with markers of oxidative damage in the placental sections from smokers. Study Design: Placental specimens were collected from term singleton deliveries from smokers (n = 10) and nonsmokers (n = 10) and subjected to a detailed histopathological examination. To quantify the extent of oxidative damage, masked score-graded (0-6) histopathology against 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanisine (8-OHdG) was performed. Minimal significance (P <.05) was determined with a Fisher's exact and a 2-tailed Student t test as appropriate. Results: We observed a significant increase in the presence of syncytial knots in placentas from smokers (70% vs 10%, P =.02). These gross observations were accompanied by a significant aberrant placental aromatic hydrocarbon metabolism (increased CYP1A1, 4.4 vs 2.1, P =.002) in addition to evidence of oxidative damage (4-HNE 3.4 vs 1.1, P =.00005; 8-OHdG 4.9 vs 3.1, P =.0038). Conclusion: We observed a strong association between maternal tobacco use and aberrant placental metabolism, syncytial knot formation, and multiple markers of oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246.e1-246.e7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • immunohistochemistry
  • intrauterine growth retardation
  • maternal smoking
  • metabolic stress
  • oxidative stress
  • placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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