Article

Early-life environmental determinants of allergic diseases and the wider pandemic of inflammatory noncommunicable diseases

International Inflammation (in-FLAME) Network of the World Universities Network (WUN). Electronic address: .
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.25). 01/2013; 131(1):23-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.11.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The unparalleled burden of a diverse range of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is a major global challenge in the 21st century. Chronic low-grade inflammation is a common feature of virtually all NCDs, indicating a central role of the immune system. Furthermore, as the most common and earliest-onset NCD, the epidemic of allergic diseases points to specific vulnerability of the developing immune system to modern environmental change. Indeed, many environmental risk factors implicated in the rise of other NCDs have been shown to mediate their effects through immune pathways. The innate immune system provides a clear example of this convergence, with evidence that physical activity, nutrition, pollutants, and the microbiome all influence systemic inflammation through Toll-like receptor pathways (notably Toll-like receptor 4), with downstream effects on the risk of insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular risk, immune diseases, and even mood and behavior. Common risk factors will likely mean common solutions, and interdisciplinary strategies to promote immune health should be an integral part of NCD prevention, with a greater focus early in the life course before disease processes are established. In this context allergic disease provides a very important early target to assess the effectiveness of environmental strategies to reduce immune dysregulation.

Full-text

Available from: Susan L Prescott, Jan 30, 2015
1 Follower
 · 
67 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An ability to detect subtle signs of sickness in others would be highly beneficial, as it would allow for behaviors that help us avoid contagious pathogens. Recent findings suggest that both animals and humans are able to detect distinctive odor signals of individuals with activated innate immune responses. This study tested whether an innate immune response affects a person's walking speed and whether other people experience that person as less healthy. 43 subjects watched films of persons who were experiencing experimental immune activation, and rated the walking individuals in the films with respect to health, tiredness, and sadness. Furthermore, the walking speed in the films was analyzed. After LPS injections, participants walked more slowly and were perceived as less healthy and more tired as compared to when injected with placebo. There was also a trend for the subjects to look sadder after LPS injection than after placebo. Furthermore, there were strong associations between walking speed and the appearance of health, tiredness, and sadness. These findings support the notion that walking speed is affected by an activated immune response, and that humans may be able to detect very early signs of sickness in others by merely observing their gait. This ability is likely to aid both a "behavioral immune system", by providing more opportunities for adaptive behaviors such as avoidance, and the anticipatory priming of biochemical immune responses. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.03.007 · 6.13 Impact Factor
  • Paediatric respiratory reviews 07/2013; 14:S61. DOI:10.1016/S1526-0542(13)70077-0 · 2.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901–1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He recognized the co-evolutionary relationship between microbiota and the human host. Almost 2 decades before the hygiene hypothesis, he suggested that children in developed nations were becoming too sanitized (vs. our ancestral past) and that scientists should determine whether the childhood environment should be “dirtied up in a controlled manner.” He also argued that oft-celebrated growth chart increases via changes in the global food supply and dietary patterns should not be equated to quality of life and mental health. Here in the second part of our review, we reflect the words of Dubos off contemporary research findings in the areas of diet, the gut-brain-axis (microbiota and anxiety and depression) and microbial ecology. Finally, we argue, as Dubos did 40 years ago, that researchers should more closely examine the relevancy of silo-sequestered, reductionist findings in the larger picture of human quality of life. In the context of global climate change and the epidemiological transition, an allergy epidemic and psychosocial stress, our review suggests that discussions of natural environments, urbanization, biodiversity, microbiota, nutrition, and mental health, are often one in the same.
    Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 03/2015; 34(1):9. DOI:10.1186/s40101-014-0040-4 · 1.16 Impact Factor