Frequency-specific association of antibodies against heat shock proteins 60 and 70 with noise-induced hearing loss in Chinese workers.
Noise exposure may result in production of auto-antibodies against heat shock proteins (Hsps), which might be of significance in the pathogenesis or prognosis (or both) of auto-immune ear diseases. However, it is not known whether these antibodies are associated with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in workers exposed to noise in occupational settings. Using immunoblotting with human recombinant Hsps, audiological assessment, and multivariate logistic regression models, we investigated the presence of antibodies against Hsp60 and Hsp70 and hearing levels, and analyzed their associations with NIHL in 399 workers exposed to noise between 75 and 115 dB. Our findings showed that the prevalence of positive anti-Hsp70 was significantly higher in the workers with slight and moderate high-frequency hearing loss than in normal workers (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the prevalence of positive anti-Hsp60 in workers with moderate low-frequency NIHL was significantly higher than in the normal (P < 0.01). The levels of anti-Hsp70 and anti-Hsp60 seemed correlated, and the level of anti-Hsp70 better predicted the level of anti-Hsp60. An elevated plasma level of anti-Hsp70 was associated with a nonsignificantly increased risk of high-frequency NIHL (adjusted OR = 1.45; 95% CI = 0.89-2.36) and an elevated plasma level of anti-Hsp60 was associated with a nonsignificantly increased risk of the low-frequency NIHL (adjusted OR = 2.25; 95% CI = 0.85-5.96). These results suggest that the production of anti-Hsp60 and anti-Hsp70 may play a role in the pathogenesis of NIHL, and that anti-Hsps may be a risk factor. The precise mechanisms for the elevation of antibodies against Hsps caused by noise exposure and their possible role in the development of NIHL warrant further investigations.
Yang, M; Zheng, J; Yang, Q; Yao, H; Chen, Y; Tan, H; Jiang, C; Wang, F; He, M; Chen, S; Wei, Q; Tanguay, RM; Wu, T
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