Effects of chromium on the immune system

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Abstract

Chromium is a naturally occurring heavy metal found commonly in the environment in trivalent, Cr(III), and hexavalent, Cr(VI), forms. Cr(VI) compounds have been declared as a potent occupational carcinogen among workers in chrome plating, stainless steel, and pigment industries. The reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) results in the formation of reactive intermediates that together with oxidative stress oxidative tissue damage and a cascade of cellular events including modulation of apoptosis regulatory gene p53, contribute to the cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of Cr(VI)-containing compounds. On the other hand, chromium is an essential nutrient required to promote the action of insulin in body tissues so that the body can use sugars, proteins and fats. Chromium is of significant importance in altering the immune response by immunostimulatory or immunosuppressive processes as shown by its effects on T and B lymphocytes, macrophages, cytokine production and the immune response that may induce hypersensitivity reactions. This review gives an overview of the effects of chromium on the immune system of the body. © 2002 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Shrivastava, R., Upreti, R. K., Seth, P. K., & Chaturvedi, U. C. (2002, September 6). Effects of chromium on the immune system. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0928-8244(02)00345-0

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