Silica, Immunological Effects
Patients with silicosis suffer from lung fibrosis causing respiratory dyspnea, complicated chronic bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, emphysema, and other pulmonary diseases and are often complicated by autoimmune/collagen diseases such as RA (rheumatoid arthritis, well known as Caplan syndrome), SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), SSc (systemic sclerosis), and ANCA (anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody)-related vasculitis/nephritis. It had previously been considered that dysregulation of autoimmunity caused by silica exposure was induced by an adjuvant effect of silica. However, recent developments in immunology have provided new concepts such as recognition of the danger signal by the NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-containing family, pyrin-domain-containing 3, Nalp3) inflammasome in antigen-presenting cells, alteration of the CD95/Fas molecule...
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