Smoking Pregnant Women Could Be Changing Their Baby’s DNA!
Children whose mothers and/or grandmothers had smoking habit, especially during pregnancy are more prone to develop asthma in childhood years, but the cause of it was not very well understood. According to a recent study, DNA methylation that occurs in the baby before its birth is thought to be the main cause.
Normal functioning of a gene is altered by DNA methylation. These altered genes are passed on to the coming generations.
In this study, AXL gene was affected by DNA methylation changes in children exposed to maternal smoking when they were inside the uterus.
According to Carrie Breton of the University Of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, in children who were exposed to this type of maternal smoking 2.3 % increase in AXL gene DNA methylation was found.
The study involved the usage of a questionnaire which was filled out by the mothers and grandmothers of 173 children who participated in it. Also, DNA extracted from cheek cells of mothers and their children were evaluated.
It was found through DNA evaluation that DNA methylation of AXL gene was associated with smoking during pregnancy.