Special Issue "Environmental Toxicants and Autoimmune Disease"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2014)
Prof. Dr. Kathleen Gilbert
It is estimated that up to 8% of the population in the US, predominantly women, have one or more autoimmune disease. Some autoimmune diseases are life-threatening; all are debilitating and require lifelong medical care. Preventing these diseases requires a better understanding of their ill-defined and seemingly complex etiology. Although there is clearly a genetic component, the concordance rate for developing a particular autoimmune disease in identical twins is usually much less than 50%. This is interpreted to mean that environmental factors also contribute to disease etiology. The environmental contribution to autoimmune disease has come to include contact with certain chemicals that impact the immune system. Most chemicals tested for immunotoxicity appear to suppress the immune system. However, there are several types of environmental chemicals, including certain heavy metals, asbestos and chlorinated solvents that appear to inappropriately stimulate the immune system in a manner that promotes autoimmune diseases and other types of hypersensitivity reactions. This has been demonstrated in epidemiological studies as well as rodent models, and encompasses occupational as well as environmental exposure. Especially compelling are new studies suggesting that developmental exposure to certain toxicants may be even more likely than adult exposure to promote later-life autoimmunity. Toxicants can stimulate a specific immune response to chemically altered self-proteins, or can promote autoimmunity via antigen non-specific pro-inflammatory means. They can impact different cellular components of the immune system and can work at different levels ranging from epigenetic to protein structure. Articles in this Special Issue will present research aimed at characterizing the mechanisms by which environmental toxicants contribute to autoimmune disease.
Prof. Dr. Kathleen Gilbert
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.
- autoimmune disease
- environmental pollutants
- oxidative stress