The human placental proteome is affected by maternal smoking

Pasi Huuskonen, Maria R. Amezaga, Michelle Bellingham, Lucy H. Jones, Markus Storvik, Merja Häkkinen, Leea Keski-Nisula, Seppo Heinonen, Peter J. O'Shaughnessy, Paul A. Fowler, Markku Pasanen

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Detrimental effects of maternal smoking on the term placental proteome and steroid-metabolizing activities, and maternal hormone levels, were studied by using seven non-smoker and seven smoker placentae. Smoking significantly affected 18% of protein spots. The functional networks affected were i) cell morphology, cellular assembly and organization, cellular compromise (15 hits) and ii) DNA replication, recombination, and repair, energy production, nucleic acid metabolism (6 hits). Smoking significantly up-regulated such proteins as, SERPINA1, EFHD1 and KRT8; and down-regulated SERPINB2, FGA and HBB. Although maternal plasma steroids were not significantly altered, the catalytic activity of CYP1A1 was increased whereas CYP19A1 activity was reduced by smoking. Furthermore, transcript expression of CYP1A1 and CYP4B1 were induced while HSD17B2, NFKB and TGFB1 were repressed by smoking. The observed smoking induced wide-spread changes on placental proteome and transcript levels may contribute to the lowered birth weights of the new-born child and placenta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Early online date14 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

This paper belongs to the studies carried out by Kuopio Birth Cohort consortium ( We thank Ms Pirjo Hänninen for expert laboratory assistance at University of Eastern Finland, Ms Margaret Fraser, Dr Panagiotis Filis and the Proteomics Core Facility at the University of Aberdeen for their expert assistance. We also thank the staff of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Kuopio University Hospital for skilful collection of these specimens. This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [122859/2007], the Helena Vuorenmies Foundation, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the University of Eastern Finland Doctoral Programme in Drug Research and the Medical Research Council, UK [MR/L010011/1]. The funders played no roles in study design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript preparation and/or publication decisions.


  • foetus
  • maternal smoking
  • metabolism
  • placenta
  • proteomics
  • steroid hormones


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