Title: Silica exposure and chronic virus infection synergistically promote lupus-like systemic autoimmunity in mice with low genetic predisposition.
Authors: Gonzalez-Quintial, Rosana; Mayeux, Jessica M; Kono, Dwight H; Theofilopoulos, Argyrios N; Pollard, Kenneth M; Baccala, Roberto
Published In Clin Immunol, (2019 08)
Abstract: Considerable evidence indicates that autoimmune disease expression depends on both genetic and environmental factors. Among potential environmental triggers, occupational airway exposure to crystalline silica and virus infections have been linked to lupus and other autoimmune diseases in both humans and mouse models. Here, we hypothesized that combined silica and virus exposures synergize and induce autoimmune manifestations more effectively than single exposure to either of these factors, particularly in individuals with low genetic predisposition. Accordingly, infection with the model murine pathogen lymphocytic choriomenigitis virus (LCMV) in early life, followed by airway exposure to crystalline silica in adult life, induced lupus-like autoantibodies to several nuclear self-antigens including chromatin, RNP and Sm, concurrent with kidney lesions, in non-autoimmune C57BL/6 (B6) mice. In contrast, given individually, LCMV or silica were largely ineffectual in this strain. These results support a multihit model of autoimmunity, where exposure to different environmental factors acting on distinct immunostimulatory pathways complements limited genetic predisposition and increases the risk of autoimmunity above a critical threshold.
PubMed ID: 31175964
MeSH Terms: Animals; Arenaviridae Infections/complications; Arenaviridae Infections/immunology*; Autoantibodies/immunology*; Autoimmune Diseases/etiology; Autoimmune Diseases/immunology*; Autoimmune Diseases/pathology; Chromatin/immunology; Chronic Disease; Gene-Environment Interaction; Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Kidney/immunology*; Kidney/pathology; Lung/immunology*; Lung/pathology; Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology*; Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/pathology; Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus*; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Ribonucleoproteins/immunology; Silicon Dioxide/toxicity*; Silicosis/etiology; Silicosis/immunology*; Silicosis/pathology