Mercury-induced autoimmunity in mice
2002 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, ISSN 0091-6765, Vol. 110, 877-881 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We have studied the effect of gender, genetics, and toxicokinetics on immune parameters in mercury-induced autoimmunity in mice. Data strongly suggest that the mechanism for mercury-induced autoimmunity involves modification of the autoantigen fibrillarin by mercury followed by a T-cell-dependent immune response driven by the modified fibrillarin. Mice with different H-2 haplotypes were treated with (HgCl2)-Hg-203 in a dose of 0.5-16 mg Hg/L drinking water for 10 weeks. Whole-body accumulation and renal accumulation of mercury were assessed. Serum antinuclear antibodies were used to evaluate the autoimmune response, and serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) to study effects on T-helper cells of type 2. Strains with a susceptible H-2 haplotype developed autoantibodies to the nucleolar protein fibrillarin (AFA) in a dose-dependent pattern within 2 weeks. The substantially lower whole-body and organ mercury level needed to induce AFA in the susceptible A.SW strain compared with the H-2 congenic B10.S strain demonstrates that genetic factors outside the H-2 region modify the autoimmune response. Mouse strains without the susceptible haplotype did not develop any autoimmune reaction irrespective of dose and organ deposition of mercury. In susceptible mouse strains, males and females had different thresholds for induction of autoimmune reactions. In susceptible strains, serum IgE increased dose dependently and reached a maximum after 1-2.5 weeks. A susceptible H-2 haplotype is therefore a prerequisite for the autoimmune response. Mercury exposure will modulate the response, qualitatively through the existence of dose-related thresholds for autoimmune response and quantitatively as increasing doses cause increasing autoimmune response. Further, gender and non-H-2 genes modulate both the induction and subsequent development of AFA. Induction of IgE seems not to be mechanistically linked to the AFA response.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 110, 877-881 p.
antinuclear antibodies, autoimmunity, H-2 genes, mercury, mice, toxicokinetics
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-48750OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-48750DiVA: diva2:269646