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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2002 Sep;8(5):429-34.

What causes sarcoidosis?

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Limited but encouraging progress has been made over the last several years in our understanding of the etiology of sarcoidosis as a result of recent investments in epidemiologic, immunologic, and molecular biologic studies. A recent US multicenter study of sarcoidosis found few environmental or occupational exposures associated with a two-fold or higher risk of development of sarcoidosis, suggesting noninfectious exposures play a small, if any, role in causing systemic sarcoidosis. In contrast, recent studies have linked infectious agents including mycobacterial and propionibacterial organisms with sarcoidosis. The association of sarcoidosis with the use of Th1-promoting biologic response modifiers is consistent with a central role for enhanced Th1 immune responses in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. Given evidence for a genetic predisposition to sarcoidosis, these findings suggest that the etiology of systemic sarcoidosis is linked to genetically determined enhanced Th1 immune responses to a limited number of microbial pathogens.

PMID:
12172448
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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