Short-term transcriptome and microRNAs responses to exposure to different air pollutants in two population studies

Almudena Espin-Perez*, Julian Krauskopf, Marc Chadeau-Hyam, Karin van Veldhoven, Fan Chung, Paul Cullinan, Jolanda Piepers, Marcel van Herwijnen, Nadine Kubesch, Gloria Carrasco-Turigas, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Paolo Vineis, Jos C. S. Kleinjans, Theo M. C. M. de Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Diesel vehicle emissions are the major source of genotoxic compounds in ambient air from urban areas. These pollutants are linked to risks of cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, respiratory infections and adverse neurological effects. Biological events associated with exposure to some air pollutants are widely unknown but applying omics techniques may help to identify the molecular processes that link exposure to disease risk. Most data on health risks are related to long-term exposure, so the aim of this study is to investigate the impact of short-term exposure (two hours) to air pollutants on the blood transcriptome and microRNA expression levels.

We analyzed transcriptomics and microRNA expression using microarray technology on blood samples from volunteers participating in studies in London, the Oxford Street cohort, and, in Barcelona, the TAPAS cohort. Personal exposure levels measurements of particulate matter (PM10 PM2.5), ultrafine particles (UFPC), nitrogen oxides (NO2, NO and NOx), black carbon (BC) and carbon oxides (CO and CO2) were registered for each volunteer. Associations between air pollutant levels and gene/microRNA expression were evaluated using multivariate normal models (MVN).

MVN-models identified compound-specific expression of blood cell genes and microRNAs associated with air pollution despite the low exposure levels, the short exposure periods and the relatively small sized cohorts. Hsa-miR-197-3p, hsa-miR-29a-3p, hsa-miR-15a-5p, hsa-miR-16-5p and hsa-miR-92a-3p are found significantly expressed in association with exposures. These microRNAs target also relevant transcripts, indicating their potential relevance in the research of omics-biomarkers responding to air pollution. Furthermore, these microRNAs are also known to be associated with diseases previously linked to air pollution exposure including several cancers such lung cancer and Alzheimer's disease. In conclusion, we identified in this study promising compound-specific mRNA and microRNA biomarkers after two hours of exposure to low levels of air pollutants during two hours that suggest increased cancer risks. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume242
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Transcriptome
  • microRNA
  • Short-term exposure
  • CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC-LEUKEMIA
  • ADENOID CYSTIC CARCINOMA
  • GENE-EXPRESSION
  • LUNG-CANCER
  • MESENCHYMAL TRANSITION
  • MIR-17-92 POLYCISTRON
  • CELL-PROLIFERATION
  • ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
  • DOWN-REGULATION
  • TARGETING BCL2

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