|Environmental exposures early in life modify immune responses|
Environmental exposures early in life modify immune responses
In the last decades, the prevalence of allergic diseases has increased a lot, which is generating enough financial and social burdens. Due to this, researchers are trying to find new approaches to the prevention and treatment of this type of diseases. A new Ph.D. thesis from Eastern Finland University shows that there is a link between immune responses and diverse early life exposures, such as maternal or obstetric factors, agricultural dust, and air pollution. Some changes in immune responses appear until adolescence.
There is strong evidence that shows early exposure in life can change the risk of allergic diseases. One of these exposures is farming. Exposure to the agricultural environment in childhood, and even from time to time, has been shown to reduce the risk of allergic diseases. On the other hand, the cesarean section is identified as a risk factor. The roles of other obstetric factors are studied less. Another harmful exposure is air pollution, and in particular, exposure to particulate matter is in contact with the substance, which is shown to increase asthma spread and stimulation in children. However, the underlying mechanism is unclear, which is delaying the development of asthma preventive strategies.
Previous studies have shown that immune development and maturity already started during pregnancy and early in childhood. Therefore, exposure at this critical point of immune development can improve immune responses and cells, and thus can affect the risk of allergic and other immune diseases.
The study showed how different exposures occur during asthma-related immune responses in children and during pregnancy, birth or childhood. The study focused on three different exposures: one that is farming (asthma-protective) and two that estimate asthma are cesarean section and air pollution.
An early stage researcher Maria-Viola Martikainen, MSc, from the University of Eastern Finland said “We studied whether circulating dendrite cells are related to asthma, atopy or farming, even if obstetric agents affect immune responses to adolescents in the cesarean section, and whether agricultural dust and urban air particulate materials have immunomodulatory effects on circulating immune cells of children”.
To answer these questions, researchers studied associations between exposure and immunological reactions. For broadcasting dendrite cell subsets of farm and non-agricultural children, they were examined at the age of 6 years whether they mediated in the protective effect of the farm's risk. In adolescence, unstable and stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, PBMCs were screened to investigate the cytokine secretion, whether or not the posterity factors later changed immune responses in life. PBMCs of 4-year-old children were excited with farm dust and size-free particles to find shared and different immune routes between two different environmental exposures.
Studied environmental exposure was linked to asthma-related immune responses. A busy connection between farm exposure and studied subsets and the relationship between this subset and asthma in the children of the fields suggested that this subset plays a role in immunoregulation related to the farm. On the other hand, due to the lack of natural birth processes and newborn contraception care treatment, there is a long-term change in immune responses. The stimulating effect observed on the blockage of agricultural dust and particle substances on the immune responses which indicate that this exposure can modify reactions to respiratory pathogens and allergens, and the difference in asthma propagation among the study environments is clearly explained.
The study demonstrated associations between various early life exposure and immune responses in both vivo and in vitro. Some changes in immune responses seemed to be adolescents to look at. In the study, there are potentially immune systems behind various exposure and advanced knowledge of the immune system, which are either preserved or preceded by asthma. Apart from this, the developed methodological approach presented a new perspective, which could be used while studying environmental related immune diseases and their mechanisms. These studies show that obtaining comparative data from different exposure environments can detect new immune-related routes and novel tools can be provided for risk assessment and the development of preventive strategies.
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/pai.12975