Differences in inflammatory gene expression and asthma risk in urban and rural children
Invited conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractBackground: Children who grow up in rural areas are much less likely than urban children to develop allergic diseases such as asthma, but underlying immunological mechanisms are inconclusive.
Objective: To characterize the innate immune profiles of children living in rural China and to determine the possible mechanisms of the protection against asthma.
Methods: In our initial screening of 17,587 preschool children aged 5-8 years from Hong Kong (urban, n=3435) and County of Conghua (rural southern China, n=14,152), asthma and allergies were 2-3 times more prevalent in urban Hong Kong. We then proceeded to perform a case-control study recruiting asthmatic and non-asthmatic children from both Hong Kong (47 controls vs 32 cases) and Conghua (47 controls vs 19 cases). Blood samples were collected to examine mRNA expression of 8 innate immunity genes involved in inflammatory signaling pathways using quantitative real-time PCR. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were assessed before and after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation.
Results: At baseline, all inflammatory genes we measured were expressed at significantly higher transcription levels in Hong Kong controls as compared with Conghua counterparts, such as A20 (differences between means: -1.04, 95%CI: -1.39 to -0.69, p<0.0001, ΔCt), MALT1 (-1.62, -2.14 to -1.09, p<0.0001, ΔCt) and TRAF6 (-1.28, -2.16 to -0.41, p<0.001, ΔCt). Upon LPS stimulation in vitro, both urban and rural children were able to upregulate the gene expression, but the upregulation were substantially stronger in children from the urban area, especially for TRAF6 (p<0.05, fold-change). However, there were no dramatic differences between Conghua and Hong Kong cases either with or without stimulation.
Conclusions: Living in rural environment will lead to downregulation of inflammatory gene expression, which may be an important mechanism explaining the rural protection against asthma and allergies.
All Author(s) ListYH Xing, CK Wong, SM Tsang, J Li, GWK Wong
Name of Conference17th International Congress on Pediatric Pulmonology
Start Date of Conference21/06/2018
End Date of Conference24/06/2018
Place of ConferenceToledo
Country/Region of ConferenceSpain
Proceedings TitlePediatric Pulmonology
Year2018
Month6
Volume Number53
Issue NumberSuppl 1
PagesS88 - S89
ISSN8755-6863
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-30-10 at 12:11