Exposure to air pollutants can lead to lung inflammatory responses such as allergic asthma. Serotonin elevation
is shown to be present in peripheral blood of symptomatic asthmatic patients. In this study, two genes, 5HTR2a and
MAO-A playing important roles in serotonin function, were analyzed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of
individuals who had been exposed to air pollution and allergic asthmatic patients as well. Thus, cDNA was synthesized
from PBMCs’ mRNA of the subjects and then gene expression was measured by real-time PCR. 5HTR2A gene expression
in PBMCs of both exposed individuals and allergic asthmatic patients was significantly increased compared with
control group, whereas MAO-A gene expression showed no significant changes in neither groups. These results indicate
that there may be association between increased 5HTR2a gene expression and exposure to air pollution as well as asthma
incidence. Some relevant patents are also outlined in this article.
Keywords: Air pollution, allergy, asthma, 5HTR2a, MAO-A, real-time PCR, serotonin.
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