The following is a summary of “Prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with early life immune perturbations,” published in the JANUARY 2023 issue of Allergy & Immunology by Pedersen, et al.
Asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other inflammatory illnesses had been associated with exposure to ambient air pollution, although the underlying processes were poorly understood. For a study, researchers sought to determine the many pathways that may expose a fetus to ambient air pollution and eventually contribute to childhood asthma and allergies.
From conception to age 6 in 700 Danish children who were clinically monitored for the development of asthma and allergy, long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 and ≤10 μm (PM2.5 and PM10) were modeled at the dwelling level. Blood inflammatory indicators were measured at 6 months, nasal epithelial DNA methylation and gene expression were measured at 6 years, and nasal mucosal immune mediators were evaluated at 4 weeks and 6 years.
Higher prenatal exposure to NO2, PM2.5, and PM10 was linked to altered immune profiles in the blood at age 6 months, which were linked to altered immune profiles in the nasal mucosal immune profile at 4 weeks, which were linked to altered immune profiles in the blood at age 6 months, which were linked to altered immune profiles in the nasal mucosal immune profile at 4 weeks, which were linked to altered odds ratios [95% CI] of 2.68 [1.58, 4.62] for allergic sensitization and 2.63 (1.80 [1.18, 2.76]). When nasal cells were 6 years old, changes in immunological mediator, epithelial DNA methylation, or gene expression were not clearly linked to prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution.
Prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution was linked to immunological disturbances in early life that increased the incidence of allergic rhinitis and asthma. The findings raised the possibility that the immune system’s development may be affected by prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution.