Expression of the T cell receptor Vbeta repertoire in a human T cell resistant to asbestos-induced apoptosis and peripheral blood T cells from patients with silica and asbestos-related diseases

International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. 2006 Oct-Dec;19(4):795-805. [Link]

Nishimura Y, Miura Y, Maeda M, Hayashi H, Dong M, Katsuyama H, Tomita M, Hyodoh F, Kusaka M, Uesaka A, Kuribayashi K, Fukuoka K, Nakano T, Kashimoto T, Osuki T.

Department of Hygiene, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan.


To explore the effects of asbestos and silica on the human immune system, an experimental model of low-dose and long-term exposure was established using a human HTLV-1-immortalized polyclonal T cell line, MT-2 (MT-2Org). MT-2 cells were continuously exposed to asbestos at a concentration (10 microg/ml) which does not induce complete cell death during short-term exposure. After acquiring resistance to CB-induced apoptosis (designated MT-2Rst), an immunological comparison was made between the MT-2Org and MT-2Rst lines in terms of T cell receptor-Vbeta (TcR-Vbeta) expression. MT-2Rst cells showed excess expression of various TcR-Vbeta, although TcR-Vbeta-overpresenting cells were characterized as undergoing apoptosis due to first contact with CB. Patients with asbestos-related diseases (ARD), such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma, were compared with silicosis (SIL) patients as a disease control and with healthy donors (HD). SIL and ARD not only differed in their causative materials, silica and asbestos as mineral silicates, but also in terms of complications; autoimmune disorders in SIL and tumors in ARD. ARD patients showed a restricted overpresentation of TcR-Vbeta without clonal expansion, whereas SIL patients revealed significant overpresentation of TcR-Vbeta 7.2. These experimental and clinical analyses indicate the superantigenic and dysregulation of autoimmunity-inducing effects of asbestos and silica, respectively.