The role of pattern recognition receptors in lung sarcoidosis

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Abstract

Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disorder of unknown etiology. Infection, genetic factors, autoimmunity and an aberrant innate immune system have been explored as potential causes of sarcoidosis. The etiology of sarcoidosis remains unknown, and it is thought that it might be caused by an infectious agent in a genetically predisposed, susceptible host. Inflammation results from recognition of evolutionarily conserved structures of pathogens (Pathogen-associated molecular patterns, PAMPs) and/or from reaction to tissue damage associated patterns (DAMPs) through recognition by a limited number of germ line-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Due to the similar clinical and histopathological picture of sarcoidosis and tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens such early secreted antigen (ESAT-6), heat shock proteins (Mtb-HSP), catalase-peroxidase (katG) enzyme and superoxide dismutase A peptide (sodA) have been often considered as factors in the etiopathogenesis of sarcoidosis. Potential non-TB-associated PAMPs include lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, peptidoglycan, lipoteichoic acid, bacterial DNA, viral DNA/RNA, chitin, flagellin, leucine-rich repeats (LRR), mannans in the yeast cell wall, and microbial HSPs. Furthermore, exogenous non-organic antigens such as metals, silica, pigments with/without aluminum in tattoos, pesticides, and pollen have been evoked as potential causes of sarcoidosis. Exposure of the airways to diverse infectious and non-infectious agents may be important in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. The current review provides and update on the role of PPRs and DAMPs in the pathogenesis of sarcoidsis.

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