Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Committee Chair

Curtis W. Noonan

Commitee Members

Tony Ward, Andrij Holian, Elizabeth Putnam, Blakely Brown


DNA methylation, Dogs, Humans, Nutritional, Particulate Matter


The University of Montana


Asthma is among the most common chronic diseases in children, among the leading causes of hospitalization for children, and one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. Discovery of preventable factors and the underlying mechanisms that exacerbate asthma among prevalent cases is important for mitigating the health burden of this childhood disease. Environmental factors such as exposure to particulate matter (PM) or nutritional deficiencies can lead to poor respiratory health among susceptible children. Recent animal studies suggest that PM exposures and dietary nutrients may influence asthma pathways through epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic modifications are heritable changes that can regulate gene activity without altering the primary DNA sequence. With respect to allergic or asthma phenotypes, several cytokine and transcriptional factors relevant to the allergy/asthma response pathway and its counter regulation have been shown to be modulated by epigenetic processes. The results of the following research aims may help to elucidate the relationship between PM and dietary exposures, epigenetic responses, and respiratory health outcomes among asthmatic children.



© Copyright 2015 Luke Benjamin Montrose