Occupational Asthma Reference

Suojalehto H, Ndika J, Lindström I, Airaksinen L, Karvala K, Kauppi P, Lauerma A, Toppila-Salmi S, Karisola P, Alenius H, Transcriptomic Profiling of Adult-Onset Asthma Related to Damp and Moldy Buildings and Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance, -, 2021;22:10679,https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910679
(Plain text: Suojalehto H, Ndika J, Lindstrom I, Airaksinen L, Karvala K, Kauppi P, Lauerma A, Toppila-Salmi S, Karisola P, Alenius H, Transcriptomic Profiling of Adult-Onset Asthma Related to Damp and Moldy Buildings and Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance, -)

Keywords: Finland, mould, asthma, genes

Known Authors

Hille Suojalehto, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Hille Suojalehto

Irmeli Lindstrom, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Irmeli Lindstrom

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Abstract

A subset of adult-onset asthma patients attribute their symptoms to damp and moldy buildings. Symptoms of idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) may resemble asthma and these two entities overlap. We aimed to evaluate if a distinct clinical subtype of asthma related to damp and moldy buildings can be identified, to unravel its corresponding pathomechanistic gene signatures, and to investigate potential molecular similarities with IEI. Fifty female adult-onset asthma patients were categorized based on exposure to building dampness and molds during disease initiation. IEI patients (n = 17) and healthy subjects (n = 21) were also included yielding 88 study subjects. IEI was scored with the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) questionnaire. Inflammation was evaluated by blood cell type profiling and cytokine measurements. Disease mechanisms were investigated via gene set variation analysis of RNA from nasal biopsies and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Nasal biopsy gene expression and plasma cytokine profiles suggested airway and systemic inflammation in asthma without exposure to dampness (AND). Similar evidence of inflammation was absent in patients with dampness-and-mold-related asthma (AAD). Gene expression signatures revealed a greater degree of similarity between IEI and dampness-related asthma than between IEI patients and asthma not associated to dampness and mold. Blood cell transcriptome of IEI subjects showed strong suppression of immune cell activation, migration, and movement. QEESI scores correlated to blood cell gene expression of all study subjects. Transcriptomic analysis revealed clear pathomechanisms for AND but not AAD patients. Furthermore, we found a distinct molecular pathological profile in nasal and blood immune cells of IEI subjects, including several differentially expressed genes that were also identified in AAD samples, suggesting IEI-type mechanisms.

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