Mechanisms of Environment-Induced Autoimmunity

K. Michael Pollard, David M. Cauvi, Jessica M. Mayeux, Christopher B. Toomey, Amy K. Peiss, Per Hultman, Dwight H. Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although numerous environmental exposures have been suggested as triggers for preclinical autoimmunity, only a few have been confidently linked to autoimmune diseases. For disease-associated exposures, the lung is a common site where chronic exposure results in cellular toxicity, tissue damage, inflammation, and fibrosis. These features are exacerbated by exposures to particulate material, which hampers clearance and degradation, thus facilitating persistent inflammation. Coincident with exposure and resulting pathological processes is the posttranslational modification of self-antigens, which, in concert with the formation of tertiary lymphoid structures containing abundant B cells, is thought to promote the generation of autoantibodies that in some instances demonstrate major histocompatibility complex restriction. Under appropriate gene-environment interactions, these responses can have diagnostic specificity. Greater insight into the molecular and cellular requirements governing this process, especially those that distinguish preclinical autoimmunity from clinical autoimmunedisease, may facilitate determination of the significance of environmental exposures in human autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
StatePublished - Jan 6 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • adaptive
  • animal model
  • environment
  • inflammation
  • innate
  • xenobiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms of Environment-Induced Autoimmunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this