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In utero exposure to maternal smoking is associated with DNA methylation alterations and reduced neuronal content in the developing fetal brain

Overview of attention for article published in Epigenetics & Chromatin, January 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (80th percentile)

Mentioned by

12 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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108 Mendeley
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In utero exposure to maternal smoking is associated with DNA methylation alterations and reduced neuronal content in the developing fetal brain
Published in
Epigenetics & Chromatin, January 2017
DOI 10.1186/s13072-017-0111-y
Pubmed ID

Zac Chatterton, Brigham J. Hartley, Man-Ho Seok, Natalia Mendelev, Sean Chen, Maria Milekic, Gorazd Rosoklija, Aleksandar Stankov, Iskra Trencevsja-Ivanovska, Kristen Brennand, Yongchao Ge, Andrew J. Dwork, Fatemeh Haghighi


Intrauterine exposure to maternal smoking is linked to impaired executive function and behavioral problems in the offspring. Maternal smoking is associated with reduced fetal brain growth and smaller volume of cortical gray matter in childhood, indicating that prenatal exposure to tobacco may impact cortical development and manifest as behavioral problems. Cellular development is mediated by changes in epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, which can be affected by exposure to tobacco. In this study, we sought to ascertain how maternal smoking during pregnancy affects global DNA methylation profiles of the developing dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during the second trimester of gestation. When DLPFC methylation profiles (assayed via Illumina, HM450) of smoking-exposed and unexposed fetuses were compared, no differentially methylated regions (DMRs) passed the false discovery correction (FDR ≤ 0.05). However, the most significant DMRs were hypomethylated CpG Islands within the promoter regions of GNA15 and SDHAP3 of smoking-exposed fetuses. Interestingly, the developmental up-regulation of SDHAP3 mRNA was delayed in smoking-exposed fetuses. Interaction analysis between gestational age and smoking exposure identified significant DMRs annotated to SYCE3, C21orf56/LSS, SPAG1 and RNU12/POLDIP3 that passed FDR. Furthermore, utilizing established methods to estimate cell proportions by DNA methylation, we found that exposed DLPFC samples contained a lower proportion of neurons in samples from fetuses exposed to maternal smoking. We also show through in vitro experiments that nicotine impedes the differentiation of neurons independent of cell death. We found evidence that intrauterine smoking exposure alters the developmental patterning of DNA methylation and gene expression and is associated with reduced mature neuronal content, effects that are likely driven by nicotine.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 12 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 108 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 2%
Unknown 106 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 18 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 17 16%
Student > Master 17 16%
Student > Bachelor 15 14%
Other 7 6%
Other 11 10%
Unknown 23 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 19 18%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 18 17%
Psychology 17 16%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 12 11%
Neuroscience 6 6%
Other 7 6%
Unknown 29 27%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 January 2018.
All research outputs
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Outputs from Epigenetics & Chromatin
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Epigenetics & Chromatin
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Altmetric has tracked 16,065,774 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 83rd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 465 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 359,761 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them