National Jewish Health
Importance of Natural Killer Cells in Prenatally-induced Asthma Predisposition
Allergic asthma develops as a result of abnormal immune response to inhaled allergens. Prenatal and early childhood exposures are likely to have the greatest effect on asthma risk, because they act during the programming of immune and other cells. We will explore how the disposition to asthma develops prenatally. Our previous research found that the exposure of pregnant mice to diesel exhaust particles predisposes their offspring to asthma development. This was found to be associated with activation of certain white blood cells called natural killer cells. Our goal is to study the role of natural killer cells in diesel exhaust-induced asthma susceptibility.