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Cell Biology International (1995) 19, 323332 (Printed in Great Britain)
Maternal nicotine exposure: reponse of type II pneumocytes of neonatal rat pups.
G.S. Maritz and R.‑A. Thomas
Department of Physiological Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa.
The influence of maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy and lactation on the Type II cells of lung tissue of one day old neonatal rat pups was investigated. The results clearly show that maternal nicotine exposure resulted in an increase in the type II cell count in the lungs of the offspring. In addition the lamellar body content of the type II cells of the nicotine exposed rat pups were significantly (P< 0.01) higher than that of the control animals. The type II cell mitochondria of lung tissue of nicotine exposed rat pups were swollen and no microvilli occurred on the alveolar surface. This clearly illustrates that nicotine interfered with type II cell integrity of tlte neonatal lung and may subsequently interfere with the normal development of the alveolar region of the lung.