“Air Pollution is a Gerogen”

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Date: September 17, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Via Zoom - Please email sshaw@wayne.edu for info
Category: Seminar

Caleb Finch, PhD , William Kieschnick and ARCO Professor of Gerontology, University of Southern California

 “Air Pollution is a Gerogen”


The low heritability of human lifespans may be sought in gene-environment interactions. This discussion focuses on air pollution and cigarette smoke. These global airborne toxicants increase age-related morbidity and mortality in association with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia. We propose to consider these global toxins as gerogens. Moreover, developing brains are impaired by maternal exposure to air pollution and cigarette smoke, with shared postnatal consequences to adiposity, atherosclosis, blood pressure, and brain aging. Gene-environment interactions include ApoE alleles which influence the risk of cardiovascular and Alzheimer disease. The multigenerational trace of these toxins extends before fertilization because egg cells are formed in the grandmaternal uterus.  The lineage and sex-specific effects of grandmaternal exposure to cigarettes indicate epigenetic processes of relevance to future generations from global exposure to airborne toxins.


Suzanne Shaw




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