Environmental effects on immune responses in patients with atopy and asthma

Rachel L. Miller, David B. Peden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Despite attempts and some successes to improve air quality over the decades, current US national trends suggest that exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution remains a significant risk factor for both the development of asthma and the triggering of asthma symptoms. Emerging science also suggests that environmental exposures during the prenatal period and early childhood years increase the risk of asthma. Multiple mechanisms mediate this risk because a wide range of deleterious air pollutants contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma across a variety of complex asthma phenotypes. In this review we will consider the role of altered innate and adaptive immune responses, gene-environment interactions, epigenetic regulation, and possibly gene-environment-epigene interactions. Gaining a greater understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the effect of exposure to air pollution on asthma, allergies, and other airway diseases can identify targets for therapy. Such interventions will include pollutant source reduction among those most exposed and most vulnerable and novel pharmaceutical strategies to reduce asthma morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1008
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • adaptive immunity
  • epigenetic regulation
  • innate immunity
  • mechanisms


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental effects on immune responses in patients with atopy and asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this