Indexed on: 23 Mar '17Published on: 23 Mar '17Published in: Epigenomics
Asthma is a heterogeneous group of conditions that typically begin in early life and result in recurrent, reversible bronchial obstruction. The role played by epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of childhood asthma is understood only in part. Here we discuss asthma epigenetics within a developmental perspective based on our recent demonstration that the epigenetic trajectory to childhood asthma begins at birth. We next discuss how this trajectory may be affected by prenatal environmental exposures. Finally, we examine in vitro studies that model the impact of asthma-associated exposures on the epigenome. All of these studies specifically surveyed human DNA methylation and involved a genome-wide component. In combination, their results broaden our understanding of asthma pathogenesis and the role the methylome plays in this process.