Traffic-Related Air Pollution, Oxidative Stress Genes, and Asthma (ECHRS)

Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.03). 12/2009; 117(12):1919-24. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0900589
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traffic-related air pollution is related with asthma, and this association may be modified by genetic factors.
We investigated the role of genetic polymorphisms potentially modifying the association between home outdoor levels of modeled nitrogen dioxide and asthma.
Adults from 13 cities of the second European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS II) were included (n = 2,920), for whom both DNA and outdoor NO(2) estimates were available. Home addresses were geocoded and linked to modeled outdoor NO(2) estimates, as a marker of local traffic-related pollution. We examined asthma prevalence and evaluated polymorphisms in genes involved in oxidative stress pathways [gluthatione S-transferases M1 (GSTM1), T1 (GSTT1), and P1 (GSTP1) and NAD(P)H:quinine oxidoreductase (NQO1)], inflammatory response [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA)], immunologic response [Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)], and airway reactivity [adrenergic receptor beta2 (ADRB2)].
The association between modeled NO(2) and asthma prevalence was significant for carriers of the most common genotypes of NQO1 rs2917666 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.54; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-2.24], TNFA rs2844484 (OR = 2.02; 95% CI, 1.30-3.27). For new-onset asthma, the effect of NO(2) was significant for the most common genotype of NQO1 rs2917666 (OR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.09-2.16). A significant interaction was found between NQO1 rs2917666 and NO(2) for asthma prevalence (p = 0.02) and new-onset asthma (p = 0.04).
Genetic polymorphisms in the NQO1 gene are related to asthma susceptibility among persons exposed to local traffic-related air pollution. This points to the importance of antioxidant pathways in the protection against the effects of air pollution on asthma.

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    • "The existence of a genetic background that determines a different susceptibility to asthma following NO 2 exposure is supported by animal experiments (Zhang et al. 1995; Holroyd et al. 1997) and the growing, but still limited, set of association studies applying NO 2 as an indicator of air pollution (Minelli et al. 2011). These latter studies showed that polymorphisms in the genes encoding GSTP1, NQO1, TNF, TLR2 and TLR4 significantly modified the effect of air pollution on lung function, allergic sensitization and asthma prevalence (Lee et al. 2004; Melen et al. 2008; Kerkhof et al. 2010; Castro-Giner et al. 2009). "
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