Document Detail

Early environments and the ecology of inflammation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23045646     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recent research has implicated inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of a wide range of chronic degenerative diseases, although inflammation has long been recognized as a critical line of defense against infectious disease. However, current scientific understandings of the links between chronic low-grade inflammation and diseases of aging are based primarily on research in high-income nations with low levels of infectious disease and high levels of overweight/obesity. From a comparative and historical point of view, this epidemiological situation is relatively unique, and it may not capture the full range of ecological variation necessary to understand the processes that shape the development of inflammatory phenotypes. The human immune system is characterized by substantial developmental plasticity, and a comparative, developmental, ecological framework is proposed to cast light on the complex associations among early environments, regulation of inflammation, and disease. Recent studies in the Philippines and lowland Ecuador reveal low levels of chronic inflammation, despite higher burdens of infectious disease, and point to nutritional and microbial exposures in infancy as important determinants of inflammation in adulthood. By shaping the regulation of inflammation, early environments moderate responses to inflammatory stimuli later in life, with implications for the association between inflammation and chronic diseases. Attention to the eco-logics of inflammation may point to promising directions for future research, enriching our understanding of this important physiological system and informing approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease.
Thomas W McDade
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review     Date:  2012-10-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109 Suppl 2     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-17     Completed Date:  2013-01-16     Revised Date:  2013-07-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  17281-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anthropology and Cells to Society: The Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
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MeSH Terms
C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
Chronic Disease
Cytokines / blood
Immune System / growth & development
Inflammation / etiology*
Inflammation Mediators / blood
Models, Biological
Vaccines / immunology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cytokines; 0/Inflammation Mediators; 0/Vaccines; 9007-41-4/C-Reactive Protein

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