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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Nov;134(5):1001-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.064. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Environmental effects on immune responses in patients with atopy and asthma.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care of Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY; Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY. Electronic address: rlm14@cumc.columbia.edu.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC.

Abstract

Despite attempts and some successes to improve air quality over the decades, current US national trends suggest that exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution remains a significant risk factor for both the development of asthma and the triggering of asthma symptoms. Emerging science also suggests that environmental exposures during the prenatal period and early childhood years increase the risk of asthma. Multiple mechanisms mediate this risk because a wide range of deleterious air pollutants contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma across a variety of complex asthma phenotypes. In this review we will consider the role of altered innate and adaptive immune responses, gene-environment interactions, epigenetic regulation, and possibly gene-environment-epigene interactions. Gaining a greater understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the effect of exposure to air pollution on asthma, allergies, and other airway diseases can identify targets for therapy. Such interventions will include pollutant source reduction among those most exposed and most vulnerable and novel pharmaceutical strategies to reduce asthma morbidity.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; adaptive immunity; epigenetic regulation; innate immunity; mechanisms

PMID:
25439226
PMCID:
PMC4254681
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.064
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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