Development of Molecular Biomarkers to Measure Environmentally Induced Immune ResponsesEPA 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.
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.