Air pollution, obesity, genes and cellular adhesion molecules

Jaime Madrigano, Andrea Baccarelli, Robert O. Wright, Helen Suh, David Sparrow, Pantel S. Vokonas, Joel Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Objectives: Particulate matter has been associated with acute cardiovascular outcomes, but our understanding of the mechanism is incomplete. We examined the association between particulate matter and cell adhesion molecules. We also investigated the modifying effect of genotype and phenotype variation to gain insight into the relevant biological pathways for this association. Methods: We used mixed regression models to examine the association of PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤2.5 mm in diameter) and black carbon with serum concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM-1) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1), markers of endothelial function and inflammation, in a longitudinal study of 809 participants in the Normative Ageing Study (1819 total observations). We also examined whether this association was modified by genotype, obesity or diabetes status. Genes selected for analyses were either related to oxidative stress, endothelial function, lipid metabolism or metal processing. Results: Black carbon during the 2 days prior to blood draw was significantly associated with increased sVCAM-1 (4.5% increase per 1 mg/m3, 95% CI 1.1 to 8.0). Neither pollutant was associated with sICAM-1. Larger effects of black carbon on sVCAM were seen in subjects with obesity (p=0.007) and who were GSTM1 null (p=0.02). Conclusions: Black carbon is associated with markers of endothelial function and inflammation. Genes related to oxidative defence may modify this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


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