Investigating the Influence of Maternal Nicotine and Alcohol Co-Exposure in Genetic Profiles of Dopamine Neurons in Newborns

dc.contributor.advisorAkay, Metin
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAkay, Yasemin M.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMadala, Sridhar
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWu, Tianfu
dc.contributor.committeeMemberZhang, Yingchun
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAvci, Naze G.
dc.creatorKazemi, Tina
dc.creator.orcid0000-0003-4789-3638 2021 2021
dc.description.abstractNicotine and alcohol are two of the most commonly used and abused addictive drugs and their usage has been linked to significant health hazards. People who smoke are much more likely to drink, and vice versa. Emerging studies have shown the effects of these drugs independently on gene expression within many brain regions implicated in the reward pathway. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons originating from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain are activated by addictive drugs, which is known to contribute to addiction. Using a well-established rat model for both nicotine and alcohol perinatal exposure, we have investigated the mRNA and miRNA gene expression of these DA neurons of the VTA in rat pups exposed to alcohol and joint nicotine-alcohol perinatally. Employing microarray analysis, we found alcohol alone and nicotine-alcohol co-exposure causes differential gene and miRNA expression within the VTA DA neurons. Enriched biological pathways following perinatal alcohol and nicotine-alcohol co-exposure suggested alterations during the neurodevelopmental processes at the cellular level through modulation of genes associated with neural migration, neurodevelopment and apoptosis. We expanded this study to further include non-DA neurons in order to compare their differential expression following perinatal alcohol and nicotine-alcohol co-exposure. We found combined nicotine-alcohol perinatal co-exposure on DA neurons enriched pathways related to neurodegeneration such as Parkinson disease, Huntington disease and Alzheimer disease more significantly than alcohol perinatal exposure alone. We investigated the neuron populations within the sub-regions of the VTA following perinatal nicotine exposure using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to investigate GABA, DA, and glutamate neurons. We found perinatal nicotine exposure to significantly affect DA neurons within the paranigral nucleus (PN) sub-region of the VTA with the parainterfascicular nucleus (PIF) sub-region containing a more diverse population of neurons.
dc.description.departmentBiomedical Engineering, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.identifier.citationPortions of this document appear in: Kazemi, T., Avci, N.G., Keller, R.F. et al. Investigating the influence of perinatal nicotine exposure on genetic profiles of neurons in the sub-regions of the VTA. Sci Rep 10, 2419 (2020).; and in: Kazemi, T., Huang, S., Avci, N.G. et al. Investigating the influence of perinatal nicotine and alcohol exposure on the genetic profiles of dopaminergic neurons in the VTA using miRNA–mRNA analysis. Sci Rep 10, 15016 (2020).; and in: Kazemi, T., Huang, S., Avci, N.G. et al. Investigating the effects of chronic perinatal alcohol and combined nicotine and alcohol exposure on dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurons in the VTA. Sci Rep 11, 8706 (2021).
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. UH Libraries has secured permission to reproduce any and all previously published materials contained in the work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.titleInvestigating the Influence of Maternal Nicotine and Alcohol Co-Exposure in Genetic Profiles of Dopamine Neurons in Newborns
dcterms.accessRightsThe full text of this item is not available at this time because the student has placed this item under an embargo for a period of time. The Libraries are not authorized to provide a copy of this work during the embargo period.
local.embargo.terms2023-08-01 College of Engineering Engineering, Department of Engineering of Houston of Philosophy


Original bundle

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
3.04 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format

License bundle

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
No Thumbnail Available
4.43 KB
Plain Text
No Thumbnail Available
1.81 KB
Plain Text