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J.Health Sci., 57(6), 488-496, 2011


Immunotoxic Effects of Trichloroethylene and Tetrachloroethylene

Makoto Seo,*, a, b Ryo Kobayashi,b and Hisamitsu Nagaseb

aDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Saitama Medical University, 38 Morohongo, Moroyama, Iruma-gun, Saitama 350-0495, Japan and bLaboratory of Hygienic Chemistry and Molecular Toxicology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, 1-25-4 Daigakunishi, Gifu 501-1196, Japan

Allergic diseases have been increasing worldwide in industrialized countries. The interplay of genetic and environmental factors is involved in the induction and progression of several types of allergic diseases. Recently, there have been many reports that the increase and spread of allergic diseases are related to chronic exposure to several environmental pollutants, such as diesel exhaust particles and formaldehyde. Trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) are categorized into chlorinated organic compounds, and are the most widely used extensively in various industrial processes. As a consequence of their widespread use, TCE and PCE are becoming environmental pollutants. Generally, TCE and PCE exposure causes organ toxicological effects on the liver, kidney, and the central nervous system; however, studies of TCE and PCE exposure-induced immune modulations are limited. In this review, we summarize research into immunotoxic effects, such as allergy hypersensitivity, autoimmune disease, and immunosuppression, of TCE and PCE from experimental animal studies and human epidemiological studies.