Russian scientists have found that oxygen starvation in the womb is the cause of nicotine addiction in the future.
A source in the Russian Ministry of Education and Science points out that scientists at the Institute of Physiology (Pavlovsk Institute) found that the lack of oxygen experienced by the fetus during its development in the womb creates a predisposition to nicotine addiction in adulthood.
According to the researchers, despite the extensive information collected by scientists about the genetic factors in the development of this bad habit, no holistic theory has been formulated about the influence of the external environment, especially at the stage of fetal development in the womb, on the emergence of dependence.
The researchers simulated hypoxia due to maternal stress in mice, which allowed them to study the effects of various diseases before birth, such as pregnancy with anemia, placental insufficiency, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, and other factors.
Viktor Stratilov, a researcher at the institute, says: “Our study showed that lack of oxygen, especially during the development of structures in the womb, the “brain reward system” is a causal factor in the development of nicotine addiction. … And dopamine, which is responsible for the feeling of pleasure, is a mediator of the brain system.”
The researchers obtained these results when studying the intrauterine development of mice at 14-16 days of pregnancy, which corresponds to a period of 5-8 weeks of development of a human fetus in the womb.
According to the researchers, these findings are important for the development of preventive measures and treatments for nicotine addiction.
The results of the study were published in the international scientific journal Molecular Neurobiology.
Source: RIA Novosti