Project R-2149


Vascular function and air pollution: from epigenetics to gene-expression (Research)


Fine particles are definited on the common denominator particulate matter (PM). Depending on the size of the particles, they are classified into different groups. The annual average concentration of PM2,5 is in Europe the highest in Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern France, the German Ruhr area and the region around Milan. Epidemiological studies report that exposure to particulate matter is associated with cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms and early mortality, e.g. by myocardial infarction. The treatment and prevention of acute cardiovascular effects of air pollution are recommended as a priority by the American Heart Association. This study focuses on the effects of particulate matter on cardiovascular endpoints. To better understand the acute and chronic effects of exposure to particulate matter at the molecular level, we study the gene expression of genes involved in atherosclerosis. The effect of particulates on epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, is also further examined.

Period of project

01 January 2010 - 31 December 2013