Epigenetic Mechanisms In Asthma

Rachel L. Miller, Julie Herbstman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent advances have provided critical clues for how environmental exposures may interact with asthma genes without changing their coding sequences to alter their transcription and expression, and, hence, the asthma phenotype. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs may modify the transcription of genes involved in the metabolism of environmental compounds, the ensuing proinflammatory response, or even the efficacy of pharmacological treatment. Evidence supporting this hypothesis includes both epidemiological studies that associate prenatal exposures with later disease, as well as molecular studies that suggest DNA methylation and histone modifications may be important in asthma immunopathogenesis. Another promising area of research involves the recognition that epigenetic patterns may occur differentially across specificasthma effector cell types. In this chapter, we will address the basis for considering epigenetic mechanisms in asthma, including supportive epidemiological data and mechanistic-based work that have emerged over recent years. Future asthma research has the potential to link environmental and epidemiological findings to mechanistic asthma epigenetic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEpigenetics and Human Health
Subtitle of host publicationLinking Hereditary, Environmental and Nutritional Aspects
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783527324279
StatePublished - 8 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma pathogenesis
  • Epigenetic mechanisms
  • Fetal basis of asthma


Dive into the research topics of 'Epigenetic Mechanisms In Asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this