Epidemiological studies indicate an association between maternal smoking and decreased fertility. In fact cigarettes represent a delivery system of hundred of reproductive toxicants and carcinogens. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemical compounds, including 43 carcinogens and more than 300 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Moreover, cadmium is found in cigarette smoke; in fact this metal, in humans, accumulates in the ovaries of smokers and in follicular fluid of smokers undergoing IVF The development of fertile oocytes is a multi-factorial process which involves genetic and environmental aspects.1 The aim of this work is to shed a light to the possible molecular mechanisms of adverse influence of smoke on ovaric function. In our previous works we examined the protein content of human follicular fluid (HFF), in normovulatory condition by proteomic analysis. In the present investigation we evaluate the influence of tobacco smoke such as an external environmental mutagen or an internal xenobiotic on female fertility.2 Also we tested many antioxidant systems by the measurements of enzymatic activities of a number of different enzymes. High value of the Glutathione S Transferase activity in smoker follicular fluid suggests that the tobacco smoke may play a critical role in the enzymatic induction in cellular mechanism of detoxification. For proteomics analysis HFF protein were loaded onto commercial 3–10 NL IPG strip and the second dimension was performed on a 10% polyacrilamide gel. In smoke condition we detected a lower number of protein spot rather than no smoke (580 vs 695). By gel matching between smoker and no smoker maps almost forty proteins are differentially present, then identified and characterised by PMF analysis. A perspective analysis to evaluate the content of many heavy metals released from tobacco smoking will undertake with mass spectrometric analysis (ICP-MS) to establish the role and the adverse effects of metal toxicant in reproductive function.
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