Does traffic-related air pollution increase asthma risk by stimulating immune mediated inflammation?


Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, November17, 2016–A recent study of 577 children living in Puerto Rico shows that residential distance to a major road (a marker of exposure to traffic-related air pollution, or TRAP) is associated with increased plasma levels of interleukin 31 (IL-31), a cytokine that promotes allergic inflammation. This study was published in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology website until December 17, 2016.

In the article "Proximity to a Major Road and Plasma Cytokines in School-Aged Children," Franziska Rosser, MD, MPH, Juan Celedón, MD, DrPH, and coauthors from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (PA), University of Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR), and Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), compared the blood levels of cytokines – signaling chemicals produced by the immune system that can stimulate inflammation – in children with and without asthma. Children living in closer proximity to a major road had higher levels of some cytokines that regulate immune responses and inflammation known to have a role in asthma.

"Exposure to traffic-related air pollution has been associated with increased prevalence of new onset asthma in children and exacerbations in children with pre-existing asthma," says Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook. "Studies focusing on immune response to TRAP may help to explain the mechanisms responsible for higher prevalence rates in genetically susceptible children."


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Number HL079966, HL117191, and HL125666. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print that synthesizes the pulmonary, allergy, and immunology communities in the advancement of the respiratory health of children. Led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, the Journal provides comprehensive coverage to further the understanding and optimize the treatment of some of the most common and costly chronic illnesses in children. It includes original translational, clinical, and epidemiologic research; public health, quality improvement, and case control studies; patient education research; and the latest research and standards of care for functional and genetic immune deficiencies and interstitial lung diseases. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, Breastfeeding Medicine, and Population Health Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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