In January 2020 researchers from Germany, China and Singapore published the results of their study to assess the association between maternal smoking status with head circumference at birth and brain development. A total of 320 mother and their newborn children were included in the study. Body measurements of the newborn, including head circumference, of smoking mothers, former smoking mothers, and never smoking mothers were assessed. In addition, the associations between maternal smoking and 163 cord blood metabolites were also analyzed. Results showed that the male newborns of smoking mothers had a reduced head circumference when compared with newborns from former smoking and never smoking mothers. A further analysis revealed that lyso-phosphatidylcholine 20:3 was associated with the head circumference of male offspring only. None of the cord metabolites were associated with the head circumference of female newborns. The researchers therefore concluded that maternal smoking during pregnancy had an impact on the development of the male offspring, including brain development.
Yong-Ping L et al. Impact of maternal smoking associated lyso-phosphatidylcholine 20:3 on offspring brain development. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Jan 15:105591. [Epub ahead of print]