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  • Revisiting and dissecting the maternal effect on childhood asthma

Project

Revisiting and dissecting the maternal effect on childhood asthma - project description

Published Updated

Our aim is to understand the basic biology behind asthma better, with the aim of better preventive actions in the future.


Summary

Asthma is a common disease among children. As yet, there is no way to
prevent asthma from occurring. Our aim is to understand the basic biology
behind asthma better, with the aim of better preventive actions in the future.
We are investigating an unsolved mystery. Children have asthma more
often when the mother has the disease than when the father has it. If we
can find the cause for this difference, it may lead us to a new mechanism
behind the development of the disease. We will set up a series of specific
hypotheses to explain the mystery. One hypothesis is that active maternal
asthmatic disease and use of medication during pregnancy may influence
the fetus unfavourably. Another is that maternal genetic variants, regardless
of maternal disease, have an influence on the fetus over and above the
genes that are transmitted to the child directly. A third possibility is that
asthma is partly determined by genetic variability in the mitochondrial genes,
which are transmitted from the mother to the child, whereas there is no transmission of mitochondrial genes from the father to the child. We are also
interested in the possible effects of the variability in the length of the ends
of the chromosomes (called telomeres), since there is a stronger maternal
effect on the inheritance of telomere lengths. Also, we will look into the
possibility that imprinted genes (inactivated if they come from one parent
but not from the other) can predispose to asthma. We will also examine the
effects of the child's environment after birth on the supposition that mothers
and fathers can have unequal influence. For this, we can use untransmitted
genes from the mothers and fathers as indicators of their relative efffects
on the environment. All these hypotheses will be tested using data from the
Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).

See the full project description at Cristin for more information about results, researchers, contact information etc.

Project participants

Project leader

Per Magnus, Senter for fruktbarhet og helse, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Project participants

Abraham Aviv, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Theodore Schurr, University of Pennsylvania

Start

05.03.2020

End

31.08.2024

Status

Active

Project owner/ Project manager

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Responsible department

Centre for Fertility and Health

Project manager

Per Minor Magnus