Clin Immunol. 2020 Feb 4:108352. Epub 2020 Feb 4. PMID: 32032765
Mercury-induced autoimmunity: Drifting from micro to macro concerns on autoimmune disorders.
Mercury (Hg) is widely recognized as a neurotoxic metal, besides it can also act as a proinflammatory agent and immunostimulant, depending on individual exposure and susceptibility. Mercury exposure may arise from internal body pathways, such as via dental amalgams, preservatives in drugs and vaccines, and seafood consumption, or even from external pathways, i.e., occupation, environmental pollution, and handling of metallic items and cosmetics containing Hg. In susceptible individuals, chronic low Hg exposure may trigger local and systemic inflammation, even exacerbating the already existing autoimmune response in patients with autoimmunity. Mercury exposure can trigger dysfunction of the autoimmune responses and aggravate immunotoxic effects associated with elevated serum autoantibodies titers. The purpose of the present report is to provide a critical overview of the many issues associated with Hg exposure and autoimmunity. In addition, the paper also focuses on individual susceptibility and other health effects of Hg.