Previous studies in our laboratory showed increased oxidative stress in TCE-mediated autoimmunity.
To further establish the role of oxidative stress and to investigate the mechanisms of TCE-mediated autoimmunity, dose- and time-response studies were conducted in MRL+/+ mice by treating them with TCE via drinking water at doses of 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0mg/ml for 12, 24 or 36 weeks. TCE exposure led to dose-related increases in malondialdehyde (MDA)-/hydroxynonenal (HNE)-protein adducts and their corresponding antibodies in the sera and decreases in GSH and GSH/GSSG ratio in the kidneys at 24 and 36 weeks, with greater changes at 36 weeks.
The increases in these protein adducts and decreases in GSH/GSSG ratio were associated with significant elevation in serum anti-nuclear- and anti-ssDNA-antibodies, suggesting an association between TCE-induced oxidative stress and autoimmune response. Interestingly, splenocytes from mice treated with TCE for 24 weeks secreted significantly higher levels of IL-17 and IL-21 than did splenocytes from controls after stimulation with MDA-mouse serum albumin (MSA) or HNE-MSA adducts.
The increased release of these cytokines showed a dose-related response and was more pronounced in mice treated with TCE for 36 weeks.
These studies provide evidence that MDA- and or HNE-protein adducts contribute to TCE-mediated autoimmunity, which may be via activation of Th17 cells.