Epigenetic influences on associations between air pollutants and lung function in elderly men: The normative aging study

Johanna Lepeule, Marie Abele Catherine Bind, Andrea A. Baccarelli, Petros Koutrakis, Letizia Tarantini, Augusto Litonjua, David Sparrow, Pantel Vokonas, Joel D. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Few studies have been performed on pulmonary effects of air pollution in the elderly-a vulnerable population with low reserve capacity-and mechanisms and susceptibility factors for potential effects are unclear. Objectives: We evaluated the lag structure of air pollutant associations with lung function and potential effect modification by DNA methylation (<or ≥ median) at 26 individual CpG sites in nine candidate genes in a well-characterized cohort of elderly men. Methods: We measured forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), and blood DNA methylation one to four times between 1999 and 2009 in 776 men from the Normative Aging Study. Air pollution was measured at fixed monitors 4 hr to 28 days before lung function tests. We used linear mixed-effects models to estimate the main effects of air pollutants and effect modification by DNA methylation. Results: An interquartile range (IQR) increase in subchronic exposure (3 to 28 days cumulated), but not in acute exposure (during the previous 4 hr, or the current or previous day), to black carbon, total and nontraffic particles with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide was associated with a 1-5% decrease in FVC and FEV1 (p <0.05). Slope estimates were greater for FVC than FEV1, and increased with cumulative exposure. The estimates slopes for air pollutants (28 days cumulated) were higher in participants with low (<median) methylation in TLR2 at position 2 and position 5 and high (≥ median) methylation in GCR. Conclusions: Subchronic exposure to traffic-related pollutants was associated with significantly reduced lung function in the elderly; nontraffic pollutants (particles, ozone) had weaker associations. Epigenetic mechanisms related to inflammation and immunity may influence these associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-572
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume122
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Air Pollutants
Vital Capacity
Forced Expiratory Volume
DNA Methylation
Epigenomics
Air Pollution
Lung
Methylation
Soot
Nitrogen Dioxide
Ozone
Respiratory Function Tests
Vulnerable Populations
Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Dioxide
Immunity
Inflammation
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Epigenetic influences on associations between air pollutants and lung function in elderly men : The normative aging study. / Lepeule, Johanna; Bind, Marie Abele Catherine; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Koutrakis, Petros; Tarantini, Letizia; Litonjua, Augusto; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel; Schwartz, Joel D.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 122, No. 6, 2014, p. 566-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lepeule, J, Bind, MAC, Baccarelli, AA, Koutrakis, P, Tarantini, L, Litonjua, A, Sparrow, D, Vokonas, P & Schwartz, JD 2014, 'Epigenetic influences on associations between air pollutants and lung function in elderly men: The normative aging study', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 122, no. 6, pp. 566-572. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206458
Lepeule, Johanna ; Bind, Marie Abele Catherine ; Baccarelli, Andrea A. ; Koutrakis, Petros ; Tarantini, Letizia ; Litonjua, Augusto ; Sparrow, David ; Vokonas, Pantel ; Schwartz, Joel D. / Epigenetic influences on associations between air pollutants and lung function in elderly men : The normative aging study. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2014 ; Vol. 122, No. 6. pp. 566-572.
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