Environmental agents, oxidative stress and autoimmunity

M. Firoze Khan, Gangduo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress (OS) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of a variety of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and many environmental agents participate in this process. Environmental agents, including trichloroethylene (TCE), silica, pristane, mercury, and smoke, are known to induce an autoimmune response, potentially through OS-mediated mechanisms. Here, we focus on unraveling the targets and signaling pathways that have been mechanistically linked with OS, as a result of exposure to these and numerous other environmental agents, and their impact on the immune system in triggering ADs. Antioxidants and molecular targets impeding autoimmunity by targeting specific signaling pathways are also reviewed. The review not only provides an overview of the current knowledge and evidence showing strong associations between environmental exposures, OS, and ADs, but also plausible mechanisms by which OS causes autoimmunity/ADs. We also discuss areas that require additional approaches, such as unraveling specific events/mechanisms leading to such devastating diseases and measures to prevent or attenuate such diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Toxicology
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Antioxidants
  • Autoimmunity
  • Environmental agents
  • Oxidative stress
  • Trichloroethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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