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Neuroimage. 2019 Dec 24;209:116477. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116477. [Epub ahead of print]

Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking and structural properties of the human corpus callosum.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland. Electronic address: lassi.bjornholm@oulu.fi.
2
Department of Radiotherapy, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; MIPT/MRC, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
3
Institute of Diagnostics, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; Oulu Functional Neuroimaging, MIPT/MRC, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; Addiction Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Finland.
5
School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
6
Department of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
7
Department of Health Sciences, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada.
8
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Departments of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
9
Department of Psychiatry, Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
10
Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: tpaus@hollandbloorview.ca.

Abstract

Alterations induced by prenatal exposure to nicotine have been observed in experimental (rodent) studies. While numerous developmental outcomes have been associated with prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking (PEMCS) in humans, the possible relation with brain structure is less clear. Here we sought to elucidate the relation between PEMCS and structural properties of human corpus callosum in adolescence and early adulthood in a total of 1,747 youth. We deployed three community-based cohorts of 446 (age 25-27 years, 46% exposed), 934 (age 12-18 years, 47% exposed) and 367 individuals (age 18-21 years, 9% exposed). A mega-analysis revealed lower mean diffusivity in the callosal segments of exposed males. We speculate that prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking disrupts the early programming of callosal structure and increases the relative portion of small-diameter fibres.

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