Autoimmunity and selected environmental factors of disease induction

Steven Yoshida, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Autoimmune diseases may be induced by physical and/or chemical environmental factors. A review of the available literature on mercuric chloride, iodine, silicone, anilides, l-tryptophan, vinyl chloride, and canavanine suggests three general mechanisms by which they may induce disease. First, oxidative damage probably is a frequent process involved in disease induction and pathogenesis. Second, certain compounds also may generate antigen-specific immune responses that could then cross-react with selftissues. Other xenobiotics might bind to selftissues and increase self-tissue immunogenicity. Third, physical and chemical agents may also modulate the immune system. Finally, in response to controversies surrounding the influence of human activities on global climate changes, the immunosuppressive effects of ozone and ultraviolet radiation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-419
Number of pages21
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • chemicals
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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