Development of Molecular Biomarkers to Measure Environmentally Induced Immune Responses

EPA Grant Number: R832947
Title: Development of Molecular Biomarkers to Measure Environmentally Induced Immune Responses
Investigators: Miller, Lisa A. , Abel, Kristina , Gern, James , Gilliland, Frank D. , Joad, Jesse , Margolis, Helene
Institution: California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: June 15, 2006 through June 14, 2009 (Extended to December 14, 2011)
Project Amount: $712,423
RFA: Early Indicators of Environmentally Induced Disease (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Health


There is a strong correlation between air pollutant exposure, persistent respiratory symptoms, and asthma in children. The mechanisms for this phenomenon are unknown because of a limited ability to evaluate immune responses in very young children. The primary objective of this project is to establish a panel of immune biomarkers that will be used to detect environmentally induced disease in humans, focusing on parameters of allergy and asthma. The overall hypothesis of this project is that molecular biology techniques can accurately provide quantitative measurements of immune cell phenotype and function in small biological samples.


In this proposal, we will develop a panel of oligonucleotide primers and probes for real-time quantitative PCR analysis of immune cell phenotype and function. The significance of each immune biomarker in the context of environmentally induced allergic airways disease will subsequently be determined by evaluating peripheral blood and airway cells obtained from an infant rhesus monkey model of environmentally induced asthma.

Expected Results:

This study will generate a panel of sensitive molecular biomarkers to measure environmentally induced changes in systemic and local immune responses within small biological samples. Once tested and characterized, these reagents can be immediately incorporated as a part of the National Children’s Study to investigate how environmental exposure to air pollutants can modulate the immune system during early childhood development.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

immunology, ozone, indoor air, health effects, susceptibility,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Allergens/Asthma, Environmental Monitoring, Health Effects, Physical Processes, genetic susceptability, ambient air quality, atmospheric particulate matter, particulates, asthma triggers, sensitive populations, asthma, air toxics, atmospheric particles, chemical characteristics, ambient air monitoring, health risks, airborne particulate matter, asthma indices, environmental risks, exposure, second hand smoke, airway disease, airway inflammation, air pollution, aerosol composition, atmospheric aerosol particles, human exposure, airborne pollutants, inhalation, human susceptibility, allergic response, tobacco smoke

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2008
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010
  • Final Report