Academic Commons


Short-term exposure to PM2.5 and vanadium and changes in asthma gene DNA methylation and lung function decrements among urban children

Jung, Kyung Hwa; Torrone, David Z.; Lovinsky-Desir, Stephanie; Perzanowski, Matthew S.; Bautista, Joshua B.; Jezioro, Jacqueline R.; Hoepner, Lori A.; Ross, Jamie; Perera, Frederica P.; Chillrud, Steven N.; Miller, Rachel L.

BACKGROUND: Both short and long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollutants have been associated with asthma and reduced lung function. We hypothesized that short-term indoor exposure to fine particulate matter <2.5 μm (PM2.5) and vanadium (V) would be associated with altered buccal cell DNA methylation of targeted asthma genes and decreased lung function among urban children in a nested subcohort of African American and Dominican children. METHODS: Six day integrated levels of air pollutants were measured from children's homes (age 9-14; n = 163), repeated 6 months later (n = 98). Buccal samples were collected repeatedly during visits. CpG promoter loci of asthma genes (i.e., interleukin 4 (IL4), interferon gamma (IFNγ), inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2A), arginase 2 (ARG2)) were pyrosequenced and lung function was assessed. RESULTS: Exposure to V, but not PM2.5, was associated with lower DNA methylation of IL4 and IFNγ. In exploratory analyses, V levels were associated with lower methylation of the proinflammatory NOS2A-CpG+5099 among asthmatic overweight or obese children but not nonasthmatics. Short-term exposure to PM2.5, but not V, appeared associated with lower lung function (i.e., reduced z-scores for forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1, FEV1/ forced vital capacity [FEV1/FVC] and forced expiratory flow at 25-75% of FVC [FEF25-75]). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to V was associated with altered DNA methylation of allergic and proinflammatory asthma genes implicated in air pollution related asthma. However, short-term exposure to PM2.5, but not V, appeared associated with decrements in lung function among urban children.


More Information

Published In
Respiratory Research
Publisher DOI
1 - 11
Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Environmental Health Sciences
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.