Review of Regulation for the Fas-mediated Apoptotic Pathway in Silicosis Patients
The past several years, we have been investigating immunological aspects of silicosis focusing on Fas-mediated apoptosis. We found elevated serum level of soluble Fas (sFas) molecule, higher gene expression of sFas and decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) than healthy volunteers, and various alternatively spliced Fas transcripts in PBMC. The factor analysis using these results indicated that there were a small number of patients who developed immunological diseases without presenting with respiratory disorders. In addition, we discuss the mechanism involved in the development of autoimmune disorders found in silicosis patients.