It has been demonstrated that metals can induce autoimmunity. However, few studies have attempted to assess and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action. Recent research has tried to evaluate the possible interactions of the immune system with metal ions, particularly with heavy metals. Research indicates that metals have the potential to induce or promote the development of autoimmunity in humans. Metal-induced inflammation may dysregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and thus contribute to fatigue and other non-specific symptoms characterizing disorders related to autoimmune diseases. The toxic effects of several metals are also mediated through free radical formation, cell membrane disturbance, or enzyme inhibition. There are worldwide increases in environmental metal pollution. It is therefore critical that studies on the role of metals in autoimmunity, and neuroendocrine disorders, including effects on the developing immune system and brain and the genetic susceptibility are performed. These studies can lead to efficient preventive strategies and improved therapeutic approaches. In this review, we have retrieved and commented on studies that evaluated the effects of metal toxicity on immune and endocrine-related pathways. This review aims to increase awareness of metals as factors in the onset and progression of autoimmune and neuroendocrine disorders.

Metals, autoimmunity, and neuroendocrinology: Is there a connection?

Chirumbolo, Salvatore;
2020-01-01

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that metals can induce autoimmunity. However, few studies have attempted to assess and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action. Recent research has tried to evaluate the possible interactions of the immune system with metal ions, particularly with heavy metals. Research indicates that metals have the potential to induce or promote the development of autoimmunity in humans. Metal-induced inflammation may dysregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and thus contribute to fatigue and other non-specific symptoms characterizing disorders related to autoimmune diseases. The toxic effects of several metals are also mediated through free radical formation, cell membrane disturbance, or enzyme inhibition. There are worldwide increases in environmental metal pollution. It is therefore critical that studies on the role of metals in autoimmunity, and neuroendocrine disorders, including effects on the developing immune system and brain and the genetic susceptibility are performed. These studies can lead to efficient preventive strategies and improved therapeutic approaches. In this review, we have retrieved and commented on studies that evaluated the effects of metal toxicity on immune and endocrine-related pathways. This review aims to increase awareness of metals as factors in the onset and progression of autoimmune and neuroendocrine disorders.
2020
Autoimmunity; Metals; Neuroendocrinology
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1018502
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 21
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact