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Effects of prenatal and early childhood exposure to ambient air pollution and residential green spaces on the human gut microbiome and corresponding consequences on cardiovascular function and neurobehavioral performance. (R-11216)
Our surrounding is an important environmental factor determining our health status. Air pollution exposure is detrimental to human health, while green space contact and access are associated with improved life quality. To date, the impact of environmental factors, like ambient air pollution and green space exposure, on the human gut microbiome and related health effects remains elusive due to a lack of human studies. In the current project, I aim to investigate the effects of prenatal and early childhood air pollution and green space exposure on the gut microbiome and the corresponding consequences on cardiovascular function and cognitive performance. The study is performed in the framework of the ENVIRONAGE birth cohort from which 450 stool samples of 4-to-8-years-old children are analyzed for their bacterial composition, richness, diversity, and function. The associations between the microbiome results and ambient air pollution and green space exposure - based on air pollution models, internal exposure biomarkers, and green maps - during both developmental periods are determined. Afterwards, the consequences of the observed microbiome changes on cardiovascular phenotype (i.e. blood pressure and microcirculation) and neurobehavioral performance are investigated. The findings of this study have the power to encourage more strict environmental exposure guidelines that are protective for individuals in susceptible life periods.
Date:1 Nov 2020 → Today
Keywords:Air pollution exposure, green space access, Human gut microbiom