Arsenic Immunotoxicity and Immunomodulation by Phytochemicals: Potential Relations to Develop Chemopreventive Approaches
Sabina I. Ramos Elizagaray and Elio A. Soria
Affiliation: Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba - CONICET, n/n Enrique Barros, Cordoba (5014), Argentina.
Arsenic (As) contaminates drinking water worldwide, and As exposure, hypersensitivity and deficiency are involved
in the immunopathogenesis of various health problems. Its chemoprevention thus has a high health impact. Given
its oxidative potential, antioxidant compounds are good candidates to counteract arsenic's deleterious effects on humans.
Phytochemicals (e.g., phenolics, carotenoids, etc.) act through free radical chelation activity and regulation of cellular targets.
Consequently, they are appropriate for developing anti-As strategies derived from plants, and Argentinean flora is
rich in useful species. Several molecular pathways involved in immune regulation are at the same time targets of exogenous
agents, and oxidative stress itself is a modulating phenomenon of immunity. Since xenohormesis has been described
as the organic enhancement of resistance to stress conditions (e.g., oxidation, pollution, etc.) by consuming xenobiotics,
immunoxenohormesis implies also defense improvement. This review focuses on recent patents on the development of
vegetable redox-related immunomodulating agents, which might be applied in As-induced dysfunctions, with their scientific
basis being reviewed.
Keywords: Antioxidant, arsenicosis, chemoprevention, cytoprotection, immunomodulation, medicinal plant, phytomedicine,
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