Gene-environment interactions linking air pollution and inflammation in Parkinson's disease

Pei Chen Lee*, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Christina M. Lill, Lars Bertram, Janet S. Sinsheimer, Johnni Hansen, Beate Ritz

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)


Both air pollution exposure and systemic inflammation have been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD). In the PASIDA study, 408 incident cases of PD diagnosed in 2006–2009 and their 495 population controls were interviewed and provided DNA samples. Markers of long term traffic related air pollution measures were derived from geographic information systems (GIS)-based modeling. Furthermore, we genotyped functional polymorphisms in genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines, namely rs1800629 in TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) and rs16944 in IL1B (interleukin-1β). In logistic regression models, long-term exposure to NO2 increased PD risk overall (odds ratio (OR)=1.06 per 2.94 μg/m3 increase, 95% CI=1.00–1.13). The OR for PD in individuals with high NO2 exposure (≧75th percentile) and the AA genotype of IL1B rs16944 was 3.10 (95% CI=1.14–8.38) compared with individuals with lower NO2 exposure (<75th percentile) and the GG genotype. The interaction term was nominally significant on the multiplicative scale (p=0.01). We did not find significant gene-environment interactions with TNF rs1800629. Our finds may provide suggestive evidence that a combination of traffic-related air pollution and genetic variation in the proinflammatory cytokine gene IL1B contribute to risk of developing PD. However, as statistical evidence was only modest in this large sample we cannot rule out that these results represent a chance finding, and additional replication efforts are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Research
Pages (from-to)713-720
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2016


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