How air pollution may influence Alzheimer’s through changes in brain DNA

Authors: Zhenjiang Li, Donghai Liang, Stefanie Ebelt, Marla Gearing, Michael S. Kobor, Chaini Konwar, Julie L. MacIsaac, Kristy Dever, Aliza P. Wingo, Allan I. Levey, James J. Lah, Thomas S. Wingo, Anke Hüls

Title: Differential DNA methylation in the brain as potential mediator of the association between traffic-related PM2.5 and neuropathology markers of Alzheimer’s disease

Summary: A new publication led by researchers at Emory University in collaboration with Dr. Michael Kobor’s laboratory explores the connection between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure and Alzheimer’s disease (AS) neuropathology. The study, conducted on post-mortem human brain tissues, employs a comprehensive approach, including genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) analysis, to investigate potential mediation effects. The researchers discovered significant associations between PM2.5 and specific DNAm sites, linked to genes related to neuroinflammation. 24 sites are identified as potential mediators between PM2.5 exposure and AD-related neuropathological markers. This study provides novel insights into the role of DNAm in mediating the association between traffic-related PM2.5 and AD, emphasizing the importance of understanding biological mechanisms in air pollution-related neurodegenerative diseases.

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