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

Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:713-720. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.006. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


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 2.94μg/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.

Keywords: Gene-environment interaction; Inflammation; Parkinson's disease; Traffic-related air pollution.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / toxicity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / immunology
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Particulate Matter
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitrogen Dioxide