Paternal exposure to house dust mite allergen mitigates the development of asthma in offspring

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Lindsay Bischoff Ian Lewkowich


By Lindsay Bischoff, Biological Sciences and Chemistry

Advisor: Ian Lewkowich

Presentation ID: AM_D07

Abstract: While genetics can influence asthma development, environmental exposures also play a role. Evidence shows that early life exposure to environmental factors has a profound influence on asthma development. We have shown that maternal exposure to house dust mite allergen (HDM) during pregnancy exacerbates the development of asthma in offspring. However, little is known about the effects of paternal allergen exposure on offspring. Thus, we developed a mouse model of paternal exposure in which fathers were exposed to HDM and then mated with na�ve females, producing offspring that were used in a HDM model of allergic asthma. HDM challenged offspring from HDM fathers exhibited reduced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) compared to HDM offspring from control (PBS) fathers. While cellular recruitment to the lungs is similar in offspring from HDM- and PBS- fathers, paternal HDM exposure was associated with increased populations of TH17 cells in the lungs. Collectively these data suggest that paternal HDM exposure has unanticipated effects on asthma development - limiting the development of AHR independently of effects of airway inflammation or Th2/Th17-associated responses.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- D: New Frontiers