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Asthma Epigenetics: Emergence of a New Paradigm?

  • Rachel L. MillerEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Asthma is a disease that is influenced by environmental exposures, including those that occur prenatally. Recently, epigenetic regulation has been posited as an explanation for how environmental toxicants may induce asthma-related immune responses. However, our knowledge of the epigenetic regulation of asthma lags substantially behind our understanding of the epigenetic regulation of other complex diseases such as cancer. Fortunately new data are beginning to emerge. These include translational data from molecular experiments that implicate epigenetic regulation in T helper differentiation and/or the development of T regulatory cells, important in allergic immune responses. They also include a growing collection of cohort studies that associate epigenetic regulation with several components of the asthma clinical phenotype. So far these clinical studies are small, often unconfirmed, and only have started to address key issues relating to tissue specificity. Nonetheless, these studies provide a preview of what future research may reveal and raise the possibility that previously held paradigms for asthma pathogenesis may, and perhaps should, be changing.

Keywords

Folic Acid Epigenetic Regulation Folic Acid Supplementation HDAC Activity LINE1 Methylation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ACSL3

Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 3

COX

Cyclooxygenase

CCCEH

Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health

CI

Confidence interval

CpG nucleotides

C–phosphate–G nucleotides

GRs

Glucocorticoid receptors

GSTM1

Glutathione S-transferase mu 1

HDAC

Histone deacetylases

HAT

Histone acetyltransferases

Ig

Immunoglobulin

iNOS

Inducible nitric oxide synthases

IGF

Insulin-like growth factor

IFN

Interferon

IL

Interleukin

LINE-1

Long interspersed nucleotide elements

MS4A2

Membrane-spanning 4-domains, subfamily A, member 2 gene

miRNAs

MicroRNAS

MyD88

Myeloid differentiation primary response gene (88)

nfkb

Nuclear factor kappa B

OR

Odds ratio

PM

Particulate matter

PAHs

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

RR

Relative risk

Runx3

Runt-related transcription factor 3

Th

T helper

TLR

Toll like receptor

Treg

T regulatory

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care MedicineColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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